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X3 E83 - Melting Air Intake Manifold.

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Hi all,


HNY and hope you are all well and staying safe!


Sorry for the long post... 


I own an X3 E83 2.0 D SE Facelift late 2007 model which is just shy of 120k miles.

I’ve had a number of issues with the car/engine which I feel are all related…

Latest issue is with my Air intake manifold which keeps melting around the gasket/seal on cylinder 3. (Going from EGR and counting along).



I’ve owned the car since April 2017 with 84k on the clock.

Early days of ownership the battery was replaced as Carly reported that there wasn’t enough charge to run a diagnostic and when there was I was getting some weird and wonderful faults.

After replacing the battery most of the fault codes never came back after clearing except for 3 of the 4 glow plugs throwing up an error and a code that indirectly related to the swirl flaps which after blanking them off the error code never re-appeared after clearing. As the car was now running nicely I probably foolishly ignored the glow plugs.

All was well (apart from a catastrophic failure of the transfer case in February 2019 but that’s another story and off topic to this one!) until around August 2019 with a turbo failure at 107k miles which I had replaced and the garage flagged I had 3 glow plug faults but car was running OK.


November 2019 I had all 4 glow plugs replaced and the exhaust welded as popped off between the downpipe and first box where it connects and held by a U bolt/clamp.

Back in again to the garage in Dec 2019 with lacking in power which I was hoping to be a boost leak/ problem but was a blocked DPF filter. After an unsuccessful attempt to clean it we went for the cheaper option of removing / bypassing the DPF. The re-map was a stage 1 that mapped out the DPF & EGR.


Car running great until around February 2020 when you could hear like a popping noise from the engine bay and the cabin just stinking of exhaust fumes as well as in the engine bay. Could even see exhaust smoke in the engine bay around the air intake manifold.

Back to the garage for investigation and found the inlet manifold had melted where it sits above Cylinder 3….

1st thought was faulty glow plug which was replaced and 2nd hand manifold installed which was done for free as the garage I use is an old school friend and I’ve used his garage to service all my cars for many years now.

He had a specialist in to do the re-map and we have gone down that route but the map is good and has been used on many BMWs.

Got the car back the week before lockdown 1.0 in March 2020 and was fine until recently.



I have replaced the Glow plug control unit again myself to eliminate it although there are no fault codes to indicate any issues with it before & after replacing it.

Although I had an EGR delete, it was only software and the physical unit was left in but closed. I have now installed an EGR delete kit & EGR cooler removal kit to eliminate any chance of the EGR allowing hot gases into the intake manifold. Although if it was the EGR I would have expected it to be melting nearer the EGR valve and not 3 cylinders away from it!


Last time I replaced the intake manifold I managed to do a short run to and from nursey which is under 4 miles and the new 2nd hand intake manifold is already melted. You can smell exhaust fumes in the cabin and the popping type sounds coming from the engine bay as well as the visible exhaust smoke.


My thinking now is that the exhaust valve for cylinder 3 is damaged somehow, maybe from back pressure when DPF was blocked and it’s not allow the exhaust gases to escape and coming back through the air intake manifold!?


Car generally runs OK apart from getting gassed out and noisy although lumpy on cold start.


Has anyone had the same or similar issue(s) and how did you resolve it?


Thanks all!










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