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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Mon, Jun-15-2009, 11:09:43 PM   #1
keca10
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Arrow Pictures of white residue in engine bay... Is this coolant?

I was checking my oil the other day and noticed this white stuff/discoloration all over the front of my engine. I know for a fact this wasn't here before.

I bought this car used and always wondered why the M logo on top of the engine was all warped. I assumed the previous owner used a super harsh engine cleaner before he sold the car (when I bought it engine bay was super clean). Warped M made me a little worried, but eveything checked out fine. Maybe this white crap spilled all over before and that's what warped the sticker. Or maybe his super harsh cleaner started dissolving some important seals...which lead to my 'white crap everywhere' problem.

Some other relevant info on the car...
- 2005 M3 SMG
- 28400 miles
- Coolant level at just under max, Oil was changed only about 2000 miles ago (in between oil services). Also at just under max.
- Temp gauges do read normal, but just a tad higher then usual - they used to read at 11 oclock, now they read noon)
- the fan makes more noise than usual (I only had this car through the winter - so it might be normal now that it's hot, and the fan is running more often). Kind of sounds like a jet - I am not sure what to expect as far as fan noise.
- Out of BMW warranty , but I do have a 3rd party warranty

Engine Bay:



Warped M (hard to see warpage and wrinkles - but it's there):



As an off topic question...Does anyone know what these pipes are called and what they do? Also notice major white crap all over.


After 20 minutes of driving (stabilised gauges):



I have an appointment on wednesday at the dealer to have this checked out. Maybe I am being a little paranoid and it's nothing.
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Old Mon, Jun-15-2009, 11:13:48 PM   #2
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skeet skeet.

check how the hood liner looks..if it was coolant or anything else it would also be on the inside bonnet material.

it could also be like what you describe harsh cleaning stuff that got super heated and dried funky..Id check the lining of the hood..
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Old Mon, Jun-15-2009, 11:18:37 PM   #3
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skeet skeet is right!

well, it was clean for at least 6 months after I got it. and I never used any cleaners in the engine bay. I doub't the white stuff is the actual cleaner.

Hood liner has a little bit of it on there but not as much as the engine (it's mostly on the area of the hood liner that's above the front of the engine).

Also, nowhere else under the hood can you see this stuff (except a little on the hood liner). First picture pretty much shows all the skeet areas.
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Old Mon, Jun-15-2009, 11:40:43 PM   #4
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Where do you live? It looks like road salt - for de-icing - to me.
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Old Tue, Jun-16-2009, 12:25:07 AM   #5
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Those polished tubes are the fuel rail and vacuum rail. If you had an issue with one of those one would be leaking fuel or have a vacuum leak. The white crust isn't related to either, it looks like road salt or some nasty cleaner.
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Old Tue, Jun-16-2009, 12:30:49 AM   #6
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Not sure what it is. How about detailing your engine bay and seeing if it comes back? Such a nice car, and then under the hood is that? That's like dating and taking home Alyssa Milano and getting to the house to find out she's got pubic dandruff...
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Old Tue, Jun-16-2009, 02:49:46 AM   #7
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I will get it checked out on Wednesday. If it's nothing I will spray it down with water when the engine is cold.

You guys don't think it's coolant?
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Old Tue, Jun-16-2009, 03:00:15 AM   #8
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I dont think thats coolant. It looks like your hood liner dripped crap onto your engine, either from cleaning it with engine sprayer at the car wash or road salt got into it a lot like others have said. Good luck. BTW, i just changed the thermostat, fan clutch, water pump, and did a coolant flush and my car reads the same temp (i am located in AZ though, quite hot here)
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Old Tue, Jun-16-2009, 04:34:42 AM   #9
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Have you tried to wipe off the white stuff with a damp cloth?
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Old Tue, Jun-16-2009, 04:37:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddog2020 View Post
Where do you live? It looks like road salt - for de-icing - to me.
+1...
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Discussing Pictures of white residue in engine bay... Is this coolant? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)