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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All

I'm new and not very mechanically-minded (female) and I joined to see if anyone can help me with a problem with my 2004 E46 facelift model, 320i petrol/manual MSport convertible, I'm told that it has the N63 engine. I do an 80 mile commute to work daily and the car is essential as I am rural and 8 miles away from the nearest public transport.

The problems started about 4 months ago when it kept losing coolant. It was a rapid loss every time I filled it up and as the low coolant warning light kept coming on, I kept my eye on the temperature and as soon as it started climbing, I stopped and filled up again so I am certain that the temperature gauge never went into the red, although it did go beyond the normal/middle several times.

After lots of reading and trying different things, I worked out that the problems was the radiator cap seal gone, only cost £6 and did the job, no loss of coolant since then.

However, not long afterwards, I noticed a small amount of white smoke coming from the exhaust which worsened on high revs, and wondered if there was a head gasket problem, so researched K-seal and decided to buy the head gasket repair sealant. It appeared to work instantly, the white smoke stopped.

A few days after using the K-seal, the engine management light came on but I'm not sure if it was connected to using the K-seal or not, or just a coincidence.

Anyway, the car then went into limp mode, no sign of any white smoke.

I gave up the self-diagnosis and took it to my very expensive local garage, who ran a diagnostic and said that a valve had gone. The repair was expensive with parts and labour (over £600) and the invoice said 'Inlet valve' and 'Inlet vanos'.

When picking the car up, the mechanic said that the engine was very 'gunked up', obviously a very technical term! It had to be flushed twice.

It drove home ok but on my next long commute to work, the white smoke was back with a vengeance after about 50 miles, it is now quite heavy and fairly constant. The car isn't fully in limp mode but has little power when pulling away and changing up. The car is not losing coolant and not overheating at all. It sounds a bit rattly on start up.

My question is, if anyone would know please, could the K-seal have caused more problems, or would the flushing of the engine (twice) have removed the good work that it had done and therefore, if I put another K-seal in, would it re-fix the gasket problem (assuming that's what it is)? If I do use it again, is t likely that it was the K-seal that caused the valve problem or just a coincidence that it went after using K-seal?

I'd appreciate your help as I like this car and didn't really want to let it go, but also don't want to spend much more money on it due to it's age.
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