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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 12-03-2012, 05:38 PM   #1
Dreamliner330
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Replaced Valve Cover Gasket & Vanos Seals. Still have leak and burning oil smell. :(

I had a VANOS rattle, a small oil leak and a burning oil smell so I replaced my Valve Cover Gasket along with the rubber seals on the Valve Cover Nuts.

I followed the Besian guide for the VANOS seals & rattle and also replaced the VANOS gasket (where the VANOS meets the block).

Everytime I drive my car I can smell burning oil and the car is using probably a quart every 600 miles. I used a mirror and went around the gasket and the only wet spot I can find is under the VANOS.

I made sure to clean off that plate above the exhaust under the VCG and when I checked it today it was dry.

Is it possible for the VANOS leak alone to cause this burning oil smell.

Why is this happening to me.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:21 PM   #2
ahull
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I feel your pain. I'll be redoing my gasket soon. Curious what brand of VC gasket you used. Victor Reinz has been crap lately.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
Dreamliner330
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Victor Reinz for both. I'm hoping, that getting dealer parts and doing it again will fix the issues. I just want to know what to clean it with, I don't think I was able to clean that VANOS gasket location as well as I'd like to have.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:12 PM   #4
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make sure you check the valve cover. Mine was leaking after vcg and a small crack in the cover was discovered. Good luck.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:35 PM   #5
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i did mine twice and it was still leaking at the back a bit. the Valve cover itself was warped. new cover fixed it. if i were you id take it off and check it with a straight edge....mine you could see with a naked eye. idk how i missed it the 1st time. and idk if you VCG is your only reason for oil loss. have you done your CCV?

Edit: Also did you use RTV on the halfmoons? And did you try tightening a little more and seeing if that does the trick?
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Last edited by CoupeMagic323ci; 12-03-2012 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:08 PM   #6
Dreamliner330
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Originally Posted by CoupeMagic323ci View Post
i did mine twice and it was still leaking at the back a bit. the Valve cover itself was warped. new cover fixed it. if i were you id take it off and check it with a straight edge....mine you could see with a naked eye. idk how i missed it the 1st time. and idk if you VCG is your only reason for oil loss. have you done your CCV?

Edit: Also did you use RTV on the halfmoons? And did you try tightening a little more and seeing if that does the trick?
I have not done my CCV, I'm not sure if that could lead to the burning oil smell or not though, because there is definitely a smell. I do see wet oil all around under the VANOS gasket, so I'm going to replace that with the BMW dealer VCG.

I have no idea why my VANOS gasket is leaking, I torqued it correctly, perhaps it wasn't clean enough

I used RTV Sealant, my half-moons are dry as a bone.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:52 PM   #7
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if you pull off your VCG check for cracks. i replaced mine, drove for about 140 miles to notice a smell and leaking oil under my car. turns out the vcg cracked aftering being tighten in the rear. bought a new one and back to normal except of course the rest of the oil all over the motor had to burn away while driving.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:03 AM   #8
Dreamliner330
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I plan on replacing the gasket with a genuine BMW one anyhow. I think I'll be sticking to dealer parts from now on. My old Buick did just fine on the cheapest part sold at Autozone/Checker, but my car seems to throw up anything other than dealer.

Last edited by Dreamliner330; 12-04-2012 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:38 PM   #9
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So I just saw that my valve cover is cracked, so I need to get another from the dealer tomorrow.

The parts guy at the dealer said a plugged ccv or ccv hose could cause excess crank case pressure and that could have cracked the valve cover. Any truth to that?

I've never replaced the ccv but I'm not so sure I want to do it if I don't need to, looks like a pain to do.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner330 View Post
So I just saw that my valve cover is cracked, so I need to get another from the dealer tomorrow.

The parts guy at the dealer said a plugged ccv or ccv hose could cause excess crank case pressure and that could have cracked the valve cover. Any truth to that?

I've never replaced the ccv but I'm not so sure I want to do it if I don't need to, looks like a pain to do.
that is the whole point behind a CCV. the CCV is design to relieve pressure cause by the engine blow by.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:19 PM   #11
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So...should I replace the ccv and hoses?

Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7? Cold weather (MN)? Do I need all the hoses?
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:21 PM   #12
CoupeMagic323ci
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CCV is a pretty big/long job if you havent done it before. Had mine done a couple of weeks ago and took 7hrs... and my buddy is pretty handy with bmws just hasn't done that job in 3yrs and i was helping. plus a beer or two doesnt speed things up either. Some of my friends can do it in like 2hrs-3hrs. i think that my valve cover initially warped due to a bad CCV because when we did my CCV all of the 5 associated with it were broken and the CCV itself broke in half when taking it out

125K miles

Think ECS tuning has the best price for a replacement($180). Not sure how much it would be at the dealer.

Yes replace them all. Ill go grab the parts list since i just bought the kit.

Edit:
11-61-7-534-237 Repair Kit(valve and the 2 hoses attached to it)
11-43-1-740-045 Dipstick O-ring
11-61-7-504-536 Return Hose
11-15-7-532-629 Vent Hose

They also tell you to get a new Dipstick with and upgraded design. i found some people modifying them to work and thats what i choose to do(saves 150$ or so)
Good luck
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Last edited by CoupeMagic323ci; 12-06-2012 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:37 PM   #13
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Yeah do all hoses. It's such a pain to get to you only want to go in there once in the lifetime of the car. You should clean the ICV and throttle body while in the area too.
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Last edited by ahull; 12-06-2012 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:11 PM   #14
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I was even thinking that when you did the VCG and had to remove the CCV pipe from the VC, it is very easy to break the ribbed pipe without realizing it. It becomes very brittle when old.
And while you're in there, make sure to check your OFHG for leaks.
Have you been under the car with the shield off to see where oil might be leaking there?

Last edited by Stinger9; 12-06-2012 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:54 AM   #15
Dreamliner330
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I pulled out the CCV. The drain was clear so I don't think it was broken...but it sure is now...I 'Hulk Smashed' that sucker outta there.

I broke the F connector on the intake boot and I also saw a bit of wetness on the driver side of the block, so I'll replace the Oil Filter Housing Gasket while I'm in there.

My throttle body looked clean as a whistle.

Its like a never ending replacement job.

Last edited by Dreamliner330; 12-07-2012 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:17 AM   #16
ahull
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner330 View Post

Its like a never ending replacement job.

Ah, the joys of owning an aging e46. Consider it a midlife restore for the car. I have to redo my vcg but I'm also due for CCV and OFHG. So I plan to do both at once since I'll have it apart but I'll be in there for hours. My problem is the supercharger that I have to get out of the way. Nowhere near as simple as just taking out the air box.

Then it's on to new shocks and CABs and RTABs in a few months. Cooling system refresh was last month. Clutch shouldn't be far off. I've got a FSU ready to throw in as well as a new fuel pump for when those finally go. Oh, yeah - rear diff bushing too. I'm sure another window regulator will crap out or the sunroof will act up again somewhere in there.

I'll be glad when I'm through all the big stuff and can just enjoy the car with normal maintenance and smaller repairs for years to come. (Fingers crossed)
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:22 AM   #17
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I had a rough idle issue and my car smelled horrible like burning fuel or oil, as soon as it would start up it would release massive amounts of fumes. The dealer replaced the vanos, solenoids, and camshaft now it runs fine and the smells are gone, you could have a completely different problem but that was my problem.
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:14 AM   #18
Dreamliner330
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Do I need to replace the dipstick tube? The drain line was clear when I pulled it out...any suggestions here?
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:35 AM   #19
Dreamliner330
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I pulled out my oil dipstick and it was clean as a whistle. Any real reason to replace this with the new design? There was a tiny bit of grit in the hole when I had to reach in to pull out the o ring, any reason to be worried?
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:58 AM   #20
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You've not mentioned whether you have the old style dipstick tube or not?
If you have the double walled tube, then make sure it is completely clear in both channels and you're good!
Spray it out in both channels with brake cleaner to start from like-new condition. If you didn't have problems before, odds are you be good for the rest of the life of your car.
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