Hello everyone. I want to thank each and every one of you for putting your best efforts forward to help me solve the problem(s) with my car. I greatly appreciate your vast experience and knowledge. My car is officially home, fixed and running better than the first day I bought it! I want to update you on what I discovered so we can both learn something new and interesting as we support others with a BMW.
I emailed 5 garages and I got a range of responses founded largely on a costly trial-and-error approach to fixing my car. Two garages were convinced it was a starter/motor issue with possible electrical gremlins to explore, two garages were convinced it was a timing belt issue with possible fuel line/pump gremlins to explore, and one garage just plain asked me to bring it in and they'll let me know when it's fixed. At the last minute a friend told me of a 'home mechanic' who specialized in starters and could otherwise help narrow the issue(s). Ironically, he immediately told me it was not the starter and said he thought it was the timing belt. Lol Anyway, he told me to tow it next to a garage that was located the furthest possible distance from my home and I had to sent it alone as I had to race home to work. The mechanic informed me my left valve cover was visibly cracked, allowing two cylinders to be flooded with oil. He also said three cylinders had hockey puck sized chunks of carbon grit literally frozen in place. I change my oil every 10,000 kms, so I'm confused how this happened. However, the compression test was showing barely 30-40% in most valves. So, he drained the oil, flushed the engine, put new synthetic oil in, put a new valve cover on the left side, and my car is purring. The new compression test is showing 100% in most valves, but a few are around 90% and it may be the seals.
I've learned so much! Best of all, I actually found an honest mechanic who relies on test results before guessing. I continue to systematically replace all hoses, belts, and even bulbs I can in preparation for a road trip this summer. If any of you end up visiting British Columbia, drop me a line and have any work you need done at Spike Auto in Richmond.
Sunday, March 12th, 2017 AT 5:19 PM