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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 > How to start diagnosing smoking issue?



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      08-13-2019, 09:59 AM   #1
TheMidnightNarwhal
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How to start diagnosing smoking issue?

My car started smoking oil and at first I thought rip turbos but it seems a lot of things could cause smoking issue right?

My smoking randomly occurs when cruising and arriving at a stop light, sometimes I will smell a whiff or see smoke sometimes nothing. When I floor it it will usually smoke as well.

PCV valve, valve cover gasket could both of these cause this?
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      08-14-2019, 03:23 AM   #2
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I get smoke from mine sometimes when the oil temp starts going up when warming it up or at idle and stopped. Once the oil temp is around 210 or higher it never happens. Have you checked your valve cover gasket?
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      08-14-2019, 05:34 AM   #3
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valve cover gasket IMO...Just did mine...Replace the whole valve cover for best results.
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      08-14-2019, 02:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akuenn View Post
I get smoke from mine sometimes when the oil temp starts going up when warming it up or at idle and stopped. Once the oil temp is around 210 or higher it never happens. Have you checked your valve cover gasket?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 335xirookie View Post
valve cover gasket IMO...Just did mine...Replace the whole valve cover for best results.
Thanks for the re-assurance. Definitely plan on doing the valve cover to when I get there and PCV but before I get there is there a way to daignose more? When I did spark plgus a few thousand KM ago noticed small oil in 4th plug tube so VGC might be soon.

But yeah that said, any additional diagnosing to be done? I noticed my smoking occurs when I floor it and also sometimes cruising then coming to a stop. A little bit on startup to. This means my smoking is under vacuum AND under boost right?

And the N54 does have a normal PCV valve that can go bad right and allow extra oil into the intake?
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      08-14-2019, 03:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
And the N54 does have a normal PCV valve that can go bad right and allow extra oil into the intake?
The n54 has 2 PCV valves, I wouldn't necessarily call the system itself normal as there are dedicated always-open ports in the head that will "drain" into the intake runners/relieve the positive crank pressures.

This sticky has pdfs with diagrams and an overview of the PCV system as a whole:

https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38856
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      08-14-2019, 03:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tisdrew View Post
The n54 has 2 PCV valves, I wouldn't necessarily call the system itself normal as there are dedicated always-open ports in the head that will "drain" into the intake runners/relieve the positive crank pressures.

This sticky has pdfs with diagrams and an overview of the PCV system as a whole:

https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38856
I've tried to understand but it always mind fucks me. I'll give a another re-read tonight.
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      08-14-2019, 03:51 PM   #7
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Welcome to the club brotha. I start noticing excess smoke after going fully catless, so it's most likely been going on for a while but was concealed. I know my VC is leaking, I had oil on spark plug 3 or 4 too.

I plan on replacing the VC+VCG as well as convert to an external PCV.
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      08-20-2019, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tisdrew View Post
The n54 has 2 PCV valves, I wouldn't necessarily call the system itself normal as there are dedicated always-open ports in the head that will "drain" into the intake runners/relieve the positive crank pressures.

This sticky has pdfs with diagrams and an overview of the PCV system as a whole:

https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38856
Ok I took a read! Considering there is 2 PCV valves then I think and whole valvecover replacement would be best instead of just getting rob beck PCV.

But that said, what more diagnosis can I do as I do not want to throw parts at it. In the PDF, it does say:

"Be aware that any check valve failure could cause excessive oil consumption possibly accompanied by blue smoke from the exhaust. This
should not be mistaken for a failed turbocharger. Always perform a complete diagnosis ofthe crankcase ventilation system, before replacing
any turbocharger or associated components."

Searching in TIS, I cannot find any PCV diagnosis instructions. Also, a side question, is the reason why N54 get gummed up easily by oil is because the cylcone extractor work poorly?
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      08-20-2019, 03:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
Ok I took a read! Considering there is 2 PCV valves then I think and whole valvecover replacement would be best instead of just getting rob beck PCV.



Also, a side question, is the reason why N54 get gummed up easily by oil is because the cylcone extractor work poorly?
Yes correct. By n54 you mean the intake valves.

The price of a new VC compared to rb valve is vastly different. What is it like 400 to 40? Most ppl (I think) only replace the gasket instead of the vc, which is cheap (for parts). Unless the VC is surely cracked or something.

A new VC does not include 2 pcv valves. It includes only one, which is referred to as the check valve (that RB valve replaces). I actually like the RB valve for its check valve operation (doesn't leak) but you want to get the one with the oring (not the one with the silly grommet).
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      08-20-2019, 03:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgop335 View Post
Yes correct. By n54 you mean the intake valves.

The price of a new VC compared to rb valve is vastly different. What is it like 400 to 40? Most ppl (I think) only replace the gasket instead of the vc, which is cheap (for parts). Unless the VC is surely cracked or something.

A new VC does not include 2 pcv valves. It includes only one, which is referred to as the check valve (that RB valve replaces). I actually like the RB valve for its check valve operation (doesn't leak) but you want to get the one with the oring (not the one with the silly grommet).
Correct 40$ vs ~ 400$ but my point is IF my VCG is leaking, might as well get a whole cover because it comes with the gaskets, removes any hairline crack cause/issue if there is any, and if the cyclone extractors are clogged as well I suppose it could affect something? So a new one would all be clean. Although I'm only at 72k miles

Based on the PDF, there is 2 check valves (PCV). One used in the pathway under boost and another one used in the pathway for when there is no boost (vacuum). So what I'm saying is what if my issue is the PCV for vacuum operation that is broke? I suppose because vacuum is involved that one isn't under as much stress and basically never breaks?

I may do a second inspections to assess how bad the valve cover gasket leak actually is.

I don't want to blow out any main seals either... also something that I don't know if might be related I now have a "supercharger whine" when I floor it under boost, maybe this could indicate pcv system is not working properly and pressure builds up?
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      08-21-2019, 09:15 AM   #11
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Bump anyone has insight on diagnosing CCV system on a N54?
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      08-28-2019, 05:35 PM   #12
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You should check out my tips on diagnosing a smoking N54 in my you tube vids. Watch "335i N54 Enthusiast" on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUH...np96CSleQFSvXw
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      08-28-2019, 07:58 PM   #13
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If it's on decel it's most likely your turbos. Pull your downpipes and take a look to check.
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      08-28-2019, 09:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335iN54enthusiast View Post
You should check out my tips on diagnosing a smoking N54 in my you tube vids. Watch "335i N54 Enthusiast" on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUH...np96CSleQFSvXw
I'll take a look thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by JM98 View Post
If it's on decel it's most likely your turbos. Pull your downpipes and take a look to check.
Yeah... I've got an upgraded Rob beck PCV and repalcement falpper hose just to make sure and figure good idea to replcae these anyways.

I didn't do DPs myself, only thing I have not done since it was a bit intimidating at first but I guess would be something to try.

But let's say the smoking issue comes higher than turbos wouldn't there still be oil in there anyways if not turbos?
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      09-01-2019, 08:10 PM   #15
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If your turbos are bad with end to end shaft play they can even pressurize your pcv system forcing oil into your intake even if you do have a rb pcv system....the only way to properly diagnose sometimes is to take shit apart...at least pull your downpipes off so you can check shaft play...and look for oil residue in exhaust housing.

Even if your shaft play is minimal...you could have a slight clog in your oil drain lines from sludge or something causing oil to push through the turbo seal...

Is your valve cover new? Even with the rb pcv...if u dont properly plug your intake vac ports then your valve cover can still also be a cause.

Hope this helps.
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      10-14-2019, 06:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335iN54enthusiast View Post
If your turbos are bad with end to end shaft play they can even pressurize your pcv system forcing oil into your intake even if you do have a rb pcv system....the only way to properly diagnose sometimes is to take shit apart...at least pull your downpipes off so you can check shaft play...and look for oil residue in exhaust housing.

Even if your shaft play is minimal...you could have a slight clog in your oil drain lines from sludge or something causing oil to push through the turbo seal...

Is your valve cover new? Even with the rb pcv...if u dont properly plug your intake vac ports then your valve cover can still also be a cause.

Hope this helps.

Okay big update. Here are my turbos.... they look perfect?!?! Shaft play in and out is null and up down play is very minimal. WTF is my oil smoke issue? Right now it happens always when stopping basically.

Any ideas what to look at? Maybe my valve cover has a hairline crack... would it cause this oiling symptoms?



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      10-14-2019, 06:42 PM   #17
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Also, I noticed my hot side intercooler has oil pushed out. Is this a PCV issue or just normal boost pressure pushing it out? I looked inside and the oil in there is very minimal.

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      10-15-2019, 05:03 PM   #18
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Ok so your turbo shafts look like there fine on that side of the turbo....what is the oil drain pipe condition like? Is it pinched at all? Is it clogged with debris? That could be a cause...also personally im leaning towards your valve cover cracked. EVEN if u hav a rb external pcv..if you didnt plug all your intake vacuum ports your valve cover can still be causing it. Im telling you if its old just replace it anyway.

Also whats with that one turbine at the top....is that just a shadow on the blade what is that? Its hard to tell i dunno if its the lighting but the top pic looks almost dry oily or is it just alot of carbon ....looks different than bottom turbo...i dunno u tell me

You said your turbos whine? You hear a whining sound under throttle? That could still be a bad turbo....mine were whining before i took them off...sounded like a hush siren...a quiet whine or possibly could be a bad pcv system hence replace your valve cover lol then come back and tell me what the car is doing

Last edited by 335iN54enthusiast; 10-15-2019 at 05:20 PM..
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      10-15-2019, 05:13 PM   #19
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And you do know if its white smoke it may just be a fuel injector that doesnt close when its supposed to....just saying slim possibility.. pullin out your fuel injectors and giving them a cleaning is probably very beneficial to you....if that eliminates your smoking when coming to a stop then keep an eye on those injectors.
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      10-15-2019, 05:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335iN54enthusiast View Post
And you do know if its white smoke it may just be a fuel injector that doesnt close when its supposed to....just saying slim possibility.. pullin out your fuel injectors and giving them a cleaning is probably very beneficial to you....if that eliminates your smoking when coming to a stop then keep an eye on those injectors.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 335iN54enthusiast View Post
Ok so your turbo shafts look like there fine on that side of the turbo....what is the oil drain pipe condition like? Is it pinched at all? Is it clogged with debris? That could be a cause...also personally im leaning towards your valve cover cracked. EVEN if u hav a rb external pcv..if you didnt plug all your intake vacuum ports your valve cover can still be causing it. Im telling you if its old just replace it anyway.

Also whats with that one turbine at the top....is that just a shadow on the blade what is that? Its hard to tell i dunno if its the lighting but the top pic looks almost dry oily or is it just alot of carbon ....looks different than bottom turbo...i dunno u tell me

You said your turbos whine? You hear a whining sound under throttle? That could still be a bad turbo....mine were whining before i took them off...sounded like a hush siren...a quiet whine or possibly could be a bad pcv system hence replace your valve cover lol then come back and tell me what the car is doing
Thanks for you reply, wasn't expecting a reply to my old thread so I made new one here: https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1660912

Just to close this one and reply to you I was recommended to replace valve cover as you say. I already did gasket but F it let's just do the cover since I think it's a little bit cracked. Also I do not have external PCV just the internal PCV valve upgrade for the OE valve cover.

And yeah just noticed you are right... that one blade has some dirt or oil on it... shoot.

I would be hard pressed to say it's injectors because the smell man it reeks of oil when it does. And also more of a blueish smoke. It's definitely a different smell than exhaust. I also run on 94 octane so I think it has a distinct smell as well and I can really tell when the smell changes.
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      10-16-2019, 11:50 AM   #21
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I see you're 6spd, do you downshift when you come to lights/stops? if so, try just coasting in and see if the smoking stops. In Autos, come to stops in neutral.
I believe back pressure fluctuations from downshifting (auto or manual) can cause the turbo seals to weep release a fart of oil smoke.
If thats the case, new turbos are in your future.
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