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Discussion Starter #1
Last week my briefcase was stolen by someone who busted my rear passenger window glass. I unlocked the car and tried to start it, and immediately the engine gave a loud BOOM and smoke appeared from the hood area. I popped open the hood and moderate smoke was coming from the front of the engine, but no fire and it went away. The engine later started, but extremely rough and no power, so I had it towed to the dealer. Compression check showed 3 cylinders bad and the engine may need to be replaced. One odd thing I recall...when I initially tried to start the engine, the door locks suddenly cycled down and back up.

I saw a thread from Nov 2002 for an '02 330ci in Portland, OR that sounded very similar, and the diagnosis on it was faulty camshaft sensor.

Anyone heard of any other incidents like this on a 330 engine?
 

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E46-free since 10-13-06
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I know two things:

1. Engine BOOM not related to broken window (i.e. coincidence)
2. Bad camshaft sensor can not cause engine BOOM.
 

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Ask your dealer what "bad" cylinders means. Are you sure that your briefcase was the target or was it more like vandalism? In the case of someone messing with your car, it could be that they put something in your gas tank or tried to get to something else to steal like your ECU, zenons, stereo. Broken windows, alarm triggers and such would not cause any problem like that in your engine. Cam sensor problems are usually gradual (usually) and cylinders don't just go "bad" (unless they go to Vegas). Be wary of "soccer mom" diagnostics at your dealer. Get a printout of all damages, estimates and technician "cause" comments. If they don't give you the "why" then they aren't doing their job to diagnose the problem. Post them here or take it to an independent before OK'ing the work.
-Be nice and smile, but remember to think like you are dealing people whose job it is to separate you from your money and generate income for the business. (Not all are bad, just some)
Good luck bro
 

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Discussion Starter #4
BMW engine BOOM update

I appreciate the feedback. The extended warrantee should cover whatever damage and I've worked with the service manager in the past, so I'm confident that the dealer's on my side this time. I'll let you know what I learn about the likely cause and how things turn out.
 

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maybe whoever stole your briefcase stuck a banana up your tailpipe
 

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From what I've read, that only works like that in the movies.
Grade school. Orange in the bus muffler on a school trip.

It wasn't too impressive, but the orange flew about 10 feet. Boy did we get in trouble for that one...lol
 
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