People or indi mechanics that will replace valve seals for my 2008 BMW 550i in the LA area without ripping me off?


Asked by Oct 29, 2015 at 11:22 PM about the 2008 BMW 5 Series 550i

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have the typical blue smoke after idle after 3 min.  Need to get this fixed to pass smog.  Neither of my 4 MBZs gave me any engine problems so I'm extra frustrated even though I love driving the car.

10 Answers


How many miles are on your BMW? Before you go after the valve guide seals check the crankcase ventilation (PCV) system. Sometimes a clogged or misrouted PCV hose or PCV valve can cause this. Also oil that's not the correct type or weight can cause this as well. HTH. -Jim


Js. would a code show up?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

How do you know it's valve seals?- the head has to come off to do this, major surgery- get a second opinion from somebody GOOD- what you have to pay is secondary to finding someone really good who can do the work right-

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

or can give you a proper diagnosis- that is an expensive car, and you will have to pony up the high price of being cool-

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Rowefast, no a code wouldn't show up unless the PCV system is leaking vacuum. Then a lean condition code would most likely pop up. Blue smoke (oil burning) from worn valve guide seals shows up at idle because intake manifold vacuum is highest at idle. This pulls oil past the worn seals and into the cylinders then is burned. Other than the blue smoke you can get spark plug fouling if the condition is advanced. HTH. -Jim


The car has 112,000 on it just replaced the plugs that looked worn but not fowled. Car runs great just the plume of smoke after a 2 to 3 min idle drives me nuts plus highly doubt it will pass smog. From what ive read all signs point to that.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Try seafoam gas additive also a little trans fluid in oil, run a while then change with filter


That's correct, you won't pass smog inspection. However there are the other things I've mentioned to check. But it's not inconceivable that a car with 112,000 miles on it would have bad valve guide seals though. Perhaps if a previous owner used synthetic oil and you unknowingly put in conventional oil that'd do it as well. HTH. -Jim


Thanks for your response. The vehicle has been maintained with the correct oil but I'm not sure what the next step is to find out if that's the real reason for my problem is but all signs point to valve seals. It only smokes if warmed up and only after an idle of 2min or longer. Its not valves, and not anything in the bottom end. Gas mileage seems normal and and car has plenty of power. You seem to have more of intelligent grasp on my situation, so what would you do?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

You're welcome. Glad to help. Since it's a late model with the expected amount of mileage for it's age I'd take it to the local BMW Dealer to have the valve guide seals replaced. Talk to the service writer there. Ask what, if anything, could have been done to prevent this. Personally I think it's an unusual occurrence. BMWs are usually very good cars. Yes, yes, you'll pay more at the dealer. But in the end it'll be worth it. Back in the '80s my Father took the family car for the same job (valve guide seals). He went to a chain type repair shop. When he got the car back it was only running on 7 cylinders and the oil pressure light would come on at idle. The car never ran right again. So that's why I suggest taking it to the BMW Dealer. HTH. -Jim

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