Topic: BMW 318i engine issues. Water in oil

Hi All,

We are kind of noobs. We have a BMW E36 M44 318i 1997 with 320K miles. Last race in sonoma our radiator came unhooked and we seemed to have overheated the engine. We did a compression test and it was bad. Our first 3 cilinders were like 30. We packed and went home. I worked for few weeks to replace the head gasket, put everything back compression test is now 130, 130,130, 180. This seems ok. We also changed the waterpump and termostat jjst for fun.

We started the car and it runs. After running for 30 min we noticed we are loosing water and it it looks like the water is going to the oil. We drained the oil and definetely there were few quarters of water there. I also noticed the engine idles a bit rought. When i open the oil cap it changes. Also if i take the dipstick same thing happens. I suspect the presure camshaft valve is the reason for the rough idle, but i can not figure out how the water gets in the oil.

Any ideas please?

Re: BMW 318i engine issues. Water in oil

Possibilities:  Cracked head, cracked block, head gasket still leaking.  Do you have a oil to water oil cooler?  That could be leaking, as well.

Borrow a pressure tester from Autozone.  See if it holds pressure.  It may also help you to find the leak.

Re: BMW 318i engine issues. Water in oil

There is a real chance that something warped when you overheated it. Always a good idea to inspect the head and block for flatness after an event like that.

Those compression numbers still seem to tell a story. The actual numbers aren't crazy important, because cheap gauges are often not accurate, but you want all 4 numbers close to each other. 3 cylinders being that much lower than the 4th may point to an issue.

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Re: BMW 318i engine issues. Water in oil

Typical wisdom on the M44 engine is that blown head gasket = cracked head. Sorry for the bad news.

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Re: BMW 318i engine issues. Water in oil

Time for a small block of American Iron.

"get up and get your grandma outta here"