1998 BMW 328



July, 3, 2009 AT 10:36 PM

Transmission problem
1998 BMW 328 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 178000 miles

I have a 1998 BMW 328i with an auto transmission. I recently purchased this car at an auction and vehicle was previously abandoned. I just had a key made and started it up for the first time and it ran rough and was blowing white smoke. I ran head gasket tests and the car passed them all. So then I thought bad gas and replaced gas in the tank with fresh and now engine runs smooth however still blowing white smoke and now the transmission does not always want to engage into gear and sometimes disengages while driving. White smoke smells like burning trans fluid so I am thinking the vacuum line on trans is pulling fluid into engine causing smoke and loss of fluid is causing shift problems. Anyone with bmw experience or that has had a similar issue with any ideas or suggestions would be great. Thank you


2 Answers


Dr. Hagerty

July, 5, 2009 AT 12:16 AM

There is no place for the transmission to get fluid in the intake on that car, white smoke usually is coolant.



July, 5, 2009 AT 1:28 PM

Ok I was not sure. Im a lexus tech and on toyota trans they have vacuum modulators that can go bad to allow atf to enter engine and burn. In this case I was thinking that because I am loosing my trans fluid somewhere and its not leaking out. I understand white usually means coolant but in my case it is not. The coolant level is not the slightest bit low, the car is not over heating and the white smoke DOES NOT smell anything like burning antifreeze (i have seen, smelled, and fixed many toyota head gaskets). Also found no water in oil or oil in coolant. I can do a compression test if you know off the top of your head what the pressure readingings should be, how ever I know compression is fine because engine runs smooth and does not miss. So what else can cause white smoke? I do know it had bad gas, car sat for a 8 monthes to a year. When I drained old gas it was very brownish. When new gas was put in the car ran much much better, still smoking. Any ideas other than head gasket? Think outside the box.

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