+1 on the flatbed for starters.Hello and Merry Christmas board,
The subject is a totally stock 2001 M5 with just 50k gentle miles on the clock. About a month ago I got 'er back from a local BMW specialist garage with a rebuilt passenger side VANOS mechanism, and shortly thereafter a new driver's side MAF sensor (pooped out a few days later on its own with distinct, non-VANOS symptoms). After that things were golden, with proper performance and no SES light, although the technician advised that the SES light might be back with a possibly failing cat. But, that did not manifest itself, so I figured the bad MAF had been throwing things off a bit downstream. I was pretty psyched after battling a frequent SES and intermittent VANOS issues for a year, finally to have everything sorted.
The other night while driving home, performance was fine, but I thought I heard a little extra growl from the exhaust under low-RPM acceleration. "Maybe a leak" I thought--it's the original exhaust and 10 years old now. However, all was *not* well the next day when I took her out for a short trip. We're talking embarrassing levels of smoke, nonexistent power, SES, and a stall-out at idle. I got the beast home ASAP (half a mile of this agony tops) and parked it.
So the question is, is this consistent with a bad cat, or something more nefarious? And either way, I'm thinking this is flatbed time, rather than limp-five-miles-to-service time...
Since the car was just in for vanos, I would have them check seals/o-rings first.
Smoke is never good but white smoke is better than blue.