Oceanside Auto Repair

Smoke from BMW Engine Bay


Are you experiencing smoke coming from the engine of your BMW? This could be happening for a number of reasons. This article is specifically referring to smoke coming from the engine bay of a car, if there is smoke coming from the tailpipe or another area, please click here: why-is-my-bmw-smoking to learn more!

Engine Smoking symptoms can be a sign that one of your car’s fluids, such as oil or coolant, is currently leaking. When the leaking fluid encounters something hot such as an exhaust or part of your engine, it will burn off, evaporate, and release smoke.

If your car is smoking from the engine bay, this is a sign that something is wrong and should be inspected by a professional as soon as possible. If you are experiencing smoke, this might mean that an ongoing problem has progressively gotten worse and now requires immediate attention. In our experiences, we have found that smoke coming from a BMW engine bay can, in most cases, relate back to an oil leak or a coolant leak. If you suspect an oil or coolant leak is causing smoke in your engine bay, it would most likely occur while the vehicle is hot, or at standard operating temperatures.

We love BMWs and can figure out why your BMW is Smoking today!

Oil Leaks

Oil leaks are unfortunately pretty common on most BMW models such as the E90, F80, X3, and many more. The most standard areas that we see oil leaking are in valve covers (bmw-valve-cover-why-do-i-need-to-replace-it), oil filter housings, camshaft seals, and from a variety of other areas. An oil leak will appear dark in color and look wet or dirty as dirt sticks to that leaking oil. Oil that is burning off in the engine bay will result in white smoke and have a noticeable smell. Oil leaks should be addressed sooner rather than later since your car may run low on oil and that the leaking oil will contaminate other parts of your car and cause them to fail prematurely.

Coolant Leak

A coolant leak will appear as a more water-like fluid that can be a variety of colors and will typically be sweet to the smell and when it is present or burning off. Common areas that we see coolant leaking from on BMW models are from the Coolant Expansion Tank, Radiator Hose, and Turbo Feed Coolant Lines (what-are-turbo-coolant-lines) on applicable models. Like an oil leak, coolant that is evaporating will also result in white smoke. If your coolant is leaking this is an indication that your vehicle’s cooling system has been compromised. Definitely fix this before it causes more damage!

We do free vehicle health inspections here at Oceanside Motorsports and most leaks can be identified within this free vehicle inspection. Regardless, if you are noticing Smoke Coming from the Engine of your BMW, we would recommend taking it to a trustworthy mechanic nearby to help determine the cause before further damage presents itself.


Auto Diagnosis
Oceanside Motorsports is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Oceanside Motorsports (760) 721-5500 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.
343 Airport Rd. Oceanside, CA 92058 (760) 721-5500