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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 04-30-2010, 04:06 AM   #1
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What could this be?

Ok, basicly..very little oil drips, probly couple drops, but ive had oil leek problems with this car since i got it...

rocker changed twice...onc by me, once by BMW..and its leaking still...from somwer else..not smoking like before, but its leaking.

I can smell a burning smell sometimes, only when im driving the car hard tho...im not going to take it to a proper BMW mechanic to check whats wrong, but before i do, what are some peoples thoughts?

if ur not gonna post anything helpful, dont post at all, ive had enough of smart arses on this forum recently...
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:43 AM   #2
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I'd had some leaking...maybe 2-3 drips/day visible on garage floor.

Then the burning smell and I did the vcg, but still had the drips.

So, a few weeks ago I did a long diy and got all the drips stopped finally...

by doing the things talked about here as the most common other dripping places...

Oil Filter Housing gasket
Vanos oil line (attaches to back side of ofh and then to vanos...on my 328 at least...get 4 new crush washers).


Oh, I'd had the PS hoses to reservoir clamped with real clamps...they drip often too...looks like oil on floor...and the PS hoses in mine also leaked from where they attached to that fitting next to radiator...and have to get the $2 gasket for PS cap ...look, the old one is really there, just under the cap...really is there...replace it.

I think that's about it on drips...some other minor possibilities like o-rings on sensors (I got them lying around...but didn't make it in that trip...not 'right there' so didn't bother).

Also, the SAP valve has a gasket behind it...and mine seems to be seeping a very little bit...but looks like it'd be a challenge to get my tools in there...haven't figured out what I need to make that as easy as it should be (hint...any thoughts anyone? Apologies for related threadjacking!)

Final thought (I think)...if you think your vcg is leaking still, and you smell burning oil...I'm pretty sure it's prolly leaking again...you run finger all the way around it?

Some have had luck by tightening up bolts...others by removing again and using rtv where they or someone forgot to put it...although few don't use it...on mine...an original replaced at 180K or so, did have rtv in corners by vanos...I honestly don't know about the half moons...but I did and haven't had a leak...but given the flexibility of a working gasket and its height, I know that mine could've gone down more, but left it at close to torque...I ended up doing it by hand, coz my torque wrench was impossible to use for some...maybe someday I'll add that to my list...but I'm liking hand torquing much more ever since my buddy, Nathan C, here explained what a pound-foot of torque means...never honestly knew.

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Old 04-30-2010, 05:58 AM   #3
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A bad oil burning smell is usually valve cover gasket because the oil drips down onto the exhaust manifold..

BUT.. When you drive the car at higher speeds the wind under the car can blow the dripping oil all over the place. So with that said, it could be anything. Oil pan, oil filter housing, rear main seal, front crank seal, CCV, etc..

The best way to locate an engine oil leak is use brake cleaner all over to clean off ALL the oil under the engine, then put an ounce of leak dye into the oil fill hole. Drive the car for a day or so. Then lift the car up and use an Ultraviolet lamp and some yellow tinted glasses. The source should be real obvious at that point because the dye will have seeped out from where the leak is.

As stated above, it could also be the power steering system. The pump itself and/or the lines could be leaking.
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:21 AM   #4
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i know the powe steering pump has been replaced before i owned it, i may check it out...
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