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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 09-29-2012, 04:27 PM   #1
cheerio89
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Oil leak - E46 M3

I replaced my alternator 2 days ago. Today Im driving and the car starts smelling inside and a bunch of smoke behind me. I come to work and there is a puddle of oil that my car created! Im not sure exactly what is leaking yet. I'm pretty sure its not the valve cover gasket. Maybe anyone has had a problem like this and can tell me where its coming from before I take everything apart? Here is a video:

Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:52 PM   #2
jhaurimn
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Not really sure ... You are sure it's not the valve cover gasket? I think I've heard that the vanos solenoid can leak oil, perhaps that is what it is. Hard to tell what I'm looking at from your video

Edit : what did you take off when replacing your alternator ?
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Last edited by jhaurimn; 09-29-2012 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 09-29-2012, 05:59 PM   #3
cheerio89
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Air filter bucket, the plastic right next to the alternator, and the belt. Also took of the hose from the radiator it was in the way. Reference pic: http://imgc.classistatic.com/cps/bln...457db3_20.jpeg

Last edited by cheerio89; 09-29-2012 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:44 PM   #4
cheerio89
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Here is a picture from underneath
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:09 PM   #5
emax
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Clean the area and use UV dye to find the leak. Anything else is guessing.
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:36 PM   #6
cheerio89
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I didnt really have access to UV dye, but I did find the problem!!


This is the Vanos oil pressure accumulator. The line goes to the Vanos system showed the below picture. The line is under high pressure and was leaking oil on IDLE and spraying on high RPM (had someone rev it for me while I was under the car).


This is where the line goes.

Ordered new line: http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-M3-S54_3.2L/ES23258/
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:42 AM   #7
jhaurimn
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Glad you found it ! Looks like it was leaking pretty good.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:41 PM   #8
emax
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Good news. BTW you can get dye at your local auto parts store or online.
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