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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I recently bought a 3 series E90 2005 with the N46B20O1 engine (3 months ago) and has done 97,000 miles, I had two overheats, though the first was due to a bad clip on a pipe (I just replaced it with a jubilee clip), on that first overheat I had to keep driving it due to the road I was on (about 10 minutes) it went into limp mode. The second was a bad plastic seal connecting the radiator pipe to the engine block, it just got britile.

I did notice white smoke in the first couple of weeks, a lot of smoke, but not all the time. Also the smoke is only on deceleration.

There was also a strong smell of fuel in the oil (and a bit of suction on the oil cap), also from the exhaust.

There was an oil leak, just replaced the rocker cover gasket, after it was replaced I had people say that they seen blue smoke, though I didn't see it (so less smoke than before). I had a friend rev to 4,000 rpm, and I noticed white smoke not blue, with a little water though I believe the water was due to warm'ish weather and rain and the car being sat for a week and a half. So I took it for a 20 mile drive and no water, though still white smoke. Since the valve cover gasket was replaced the fuel smell isn't as bad but still there, and doesn't smell as much from the exhaust either. Though I am smelling something new from the exhaust, smells a bit more bitter than fuel, can't put my finger on what it is. There was no signs of "milk" or "mayonnaise" in the PCV pipe connecting to the rocker cover, and none in the rocker cover (which is strange if I may have a leak gasket where coolant is e.g. White smoke).

Pressing the accelerator there is a bit of a lag between the revs and where you position the pedal, even after the gasket replacement. Same goes for the suction on the oil cap.

I got a head gasket tester, this particular one said to seat the bung and let the car idle / little revs until it gets to temp and if it turns yellow or green within a few minutes it is blown. The think is my car takes a while to get to temp, so I was holding the revs to 2,000 and it took around 7 minutes to get to 90c, the colour wasn't quite green but not blue either, more of a turquoise (see images).

Now my question is, is this actually head gasket? How much am I likely to pay to repair and is it worth a repair?
Especially if what I pay for a head gasket replacement and the car may be what I pay for another car.

Also this is my first ever car, with little mechanical experience, though I replaced the rocker cover gasket myself and I am leak free!

Thanks in advance,
Jamie

Before:

270472

After
270473

It got a little darker so I went indoors and got another image:
270474
 

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Head gasket fix you looking at couple thousand pounds you need codes and diagnostics. Not entirely convinced it's a head gasket problem. It could be o2 sensors causing exhaust smoke or it can be valve stem seals. Could be injectors causing strong fuel smell in the oil. Check all coolant pipes are getting hot and that the coolant is flowing. Maybe some muppet clogged up the matrix with stop leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
@demonist I checked with the OBD2, I did notice that I have no voltage on bank 1 sensor 2. Though I can't check that all pipes are getting hot due to awkward places but they seem ok. I did hear that the PCV can cause some of these issues too so I have one ready to be fitted, I can always check the injectors then as I have to remove the intake manifold anyway. Any ideas what would be causing the positive CO2 sniff test?
 

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@demonist I checked with the OBD2, I did notice that I have no voltage on bank 1 sensor 2. Though I can't check that all pipes are getting hot due to awkward places but they seem ok. I did hear that the PCV can cause some of these issues too so I have one ready to be fitted, I can always check the injectors then as I have to remove the intake manifold anyway. Any ideas what would be causing the positive CO2 sniff test?
If the o2 sensor is dead the car will burn too rich or too lean so maybe that's what you smelling.
 

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@demonist I meant the head gasket tester kit that sniffs out CO2 in the coolant.
I would get a good local indie to diagnose if concerned about head gasket they got better tools. Did you check for bubbles coming from coolant tank or radiator? Or coffee coloured oil filler cap
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@demonist I already mentioned that there is no “milk” / “mayonnaise” as some people call it, it was even pretty clean
270497

not noticed any bubbling (Haven’t checked) though it is an expansion tank so I would imagine There would be some from the steam generated?
 
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