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-   -   HELP! Faint Smoke from Beneath Engine (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=938560)

StatureSteez 08-14-2012 01:34 AM

HELP! Faint Smoke from Beneath Engine
About 3 weeks ago I noticed a funky burnt smell come from under the hood of my 2003 325i after I turned the car off. I noticed the smell a few more times but thought it started to go away so I kind of forgot about it. Just a couple of days ago I noticed the smell again, opened the hood, and saw a very faint smoke coming from under the left side of the engine (for about 2 minutes). I checked it again today and noticed the same problem. Tomorrow, I have to drive about 3 hours to get to school so I'm wondering if anyone has any clue what the problem could be. It smells to me like some kind of fluid is burning after the engine is shut off. (There are no fluid leaks of any kind in my driveway).

The car has been running perfectly fine. Engine temp. is right where it should be, and I have no lights on on the dash. Is the car safe to drive? Any ideas what the problem could be would be great.

This is where the faint smoke is coming from under the hood -->

peytonracer4 08-14-2012 01:54 AM

something is either sitting on your headers (a wire or vacuum hose) or oil is dripping on them. it's pretty common when the valve cover starts leaking because the oil will drip out onto the headers, burn, and not leave a trace other than a smell.
rub a cloth around your valve cover to check for leaks
you should be good to drive if you can verify your valve cover is the problem and your oil level is fine. valve cover leaks are slow and not threatening over short periods of time

IxNay 08-14-2012 05:51 AM

Probably time to replace your valve cover gasket.

Solidjake 08-14-2012 06:39 AM

Valve cover gasket. Beisansystems.com has a great write-up for it.

StatureSteez 08-14-2012 12:40 PM

Thanks guys, I checked all around the valve cover and there were no leaks that I could find. I also checked the oil and it looks good too. I was just really hoping it wasn't an expensive problem because smoke from the engine area is never good

xavi330i 08-14-2012 12:40 PM


StatureSteez 08-14-2012 12:41 PM

I will get around to fixing it later this week. I'll let you know if the problem ends up to be the valve cover gasket or not.

jasonbimmer 08-14-2012 01:19 PM

100% vcg.

StatureSteez 08-23-2012 01:01 AM

Replaced the VCG today. Still noticed the burnt smell but am hoping the old sludge just needs to be burnt off. If I still notice it in a few weeks I'll consider looking for other oil leaking areas and possible steering fluid leak.

MercForHire 08-23-2012 01:08 AM

Fix it now or this will happen

StatureSteez 08-23-2012 01:10 AM

whaaat? what was the cause of that?

MercForHire 08-23-2012 01:14 AM

oil caught on fire

StatureSteez 08-23-2012 01:20 AM

As far as I know the VCG was the only cause of oil leak. So I should be good for now at least. But I am truly sorry to hear about that tragedy.

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