Car stopped working suddenly

Tiny
CHRISTOPHER SA
  • MEMBER
  • 1993 BMW 320I
  • 2.0L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 116,569 MILES
My car has been fine since all the repairs to it were done. Today, I went out to get some items in the next town over which is further then normal when I go out for a drive. The drive there was nearly 11 miles.

On the way home I took a detour and did about 15-16 miles. Part of the journey was on the highway and I went quite fast (up to 80 miles an hour, far more than I normally do) until the next junction.

When nearing home, I was stopped at a traffic light when I began to smell exhaust fumes. At the time I thought that the junction itself was polluted. When moving away from the lights the car was a little bit sluggish and did not accelerate as quickly. More gas needed to be given for the acceleration to be as good as before.

When I got home I got out and saw that a lot of blue acrid smoke was coming out of the exhaust. It smelt and looked like carbon was being burnt off. I turned the engine off and took the stuff out of the car to deposit in the kitchen. This took about 5 minutes. When I came out to put the car in the garage I had trouble getting the car to start (initially it wouldn't after a few seconds of turning the engine over) and had to give it gas the second time which I have normally never had to do (in the past it would start right up). I then parked it in the garage.

About 90 minutes later I had to go out again and when I tried starting it, it turned over for a second or so and then there was an awful crunch/grinding noise and it stopped completely (like what happened when I got hydraulic lock). When I tried starting it again the engine refused to turn over. I popped the hood and felt the engine and it was still very hot which surprised me. It also caused me some concern and I wondered if somehow the engine had seized.

I have no idea what has gone wrong.

There may be an issue that I failed to deal with.

In 2018, after I got the car working after replacing the car's computer I had put in Amsoil, a bottle of Prolong and Auto RX, an oil based detergent that cleaned the engine of all the gunk accumulated over time. The recommended time to was to change the oil after 500 miles due to the amount of dirt that would come off of the metal of the engine components. I have not done that yet and I have done over 1,000 miles. I checked the oil and the oil was between the maximum and minimum on the dipstick. The oil didn't seem to be too dirty.

When looking in the engine compartment, I did not see any leaks.

Is there any way I can determine what has happened to the engine?
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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020 AT 7:24 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

When you turn the key to the start position, do you hear anything? Also, you may have to get a socket that fits the crankshaft flywheel bolt and an extension to see if the engine turns. The noise you described has me concerned it could be internal.

Let me know. I have to say that this specific model isn't offered in the US, so I have no technical info. However, I'll try my best to help.

Take care,
Joe
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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020 AT 7:33 PM
Tiny
CHRISTOPHER SA
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

Wow! That was quick!

I think I have a socket for the crank shaft. This model is the same (apart from the engine size) as the 323i and 325i.

I will see about trying to turn over the engine tomorrow.

I just went out and turned it to the start position and there was a whiring noise and light clunk, which I think is the fuel pump priming. When turning off the car, there was a faint whining noise. It presisted for more than a minute.
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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020 AT 7:51 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If possible, record it when you try to crank the engine and upload it for me to hear.

Take care,
Joe
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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020 AT 7:54 PM
Tiny
CHRISTOPHER SA
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

I was reluctant to get under the car which is why it has taken so long in getting back to you.

Anyway, I hand cranked the engine with a socket and there was no problem in doing so. No grinding of any metal whatsoever. So I tried starting the car up. After much longer than normal it fired up and idled though not as smoothly as it has done in the past. There is a smell to the exhaust like I noticed on the day it stopped working.

I have attached the audio. I used my iPad which I put directly beneath the engine itself.

By the way, I tried uploading an mp3 and your forum software wouldn't allow it. You might want to enable that option. I converted the audio into an mp4. Its 1 minute 36 secs long.
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Friday, September 25th, 2020 AT 5:07 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Chris,

When you smell the exhaust fumes, is it when you are in the car? Also, does it have a specific odor to it such as a rotten egg smell?

I'm wondering if you have a catalytic converter plugging. Take a look through this link:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/bad-catalytic-converter-symptoms

Let me know.
Joe

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Friday, September 25th, 2020 AT 9:48 PM

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