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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 12-03-2010, 10:32 AM   #1
sea86
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Long problem - oil leak

Hi guys, I'm new to this forum, have posted on some more general car forums before but thought that since most of my questions are about an E46 it would make sense to come over here instead!

Okay - so - a couple of weeks ago I had an Inspection II service done on my car by a BMW specialist. One of the faults they found was an 'oil leak' but they didn't say where it was coming from and said it needed further investigation.

I took it to a garage (henceforth when I say garage, I mean this one) where a friend of a friend works as I felt I'd be more likely to get a good service. They diagnosed a rocker cover gasket as leaking and they replaced it. Fine.

However - it was smelling strongly of burning at times. My friends thought this was the brakes (also had brand new discs and pads x 4 at the same time), so we ignored it for a few days until I actually saw smoke rising. I opened the bonnet and sure enough there was lots of oil dripping from the rocker cover area down on to the exhaust and smoking. So back to the garage it went.

They claimed it was coming out of the oil filler cap! I argued a little with them, saying I didn't see how there would be that much pressure up there, and also pointed out there was no oil visible on the engine cover so I didn't understand how it could have difused through there by magic without leaving a trace! However, I felt that probably they just didn't want to admit liability and assumed they had now fixed whatever they didn't do correctly in the first place.

So today - I see smoke again, exactly the same problem. There's not a cat in hell's chance it is coming from the oil filler cap. I thought it would be sensible to check too much oil hadn't leaked out so I looked at the dipstick - result - massive OVERfill of oil.

So anyway - it's going back to the garage tomorrow. What are peoples' thoughts? I am going to say to them - look - third time lucky guys, if not, it's going to BMW main dealer and I'm sending you the bill!
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:36 AM   #2
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Oil filter housing gasket #6. The only way it could be your oil filter cap #4 seal is if you never change your oil and the gasket (which comes with a new oil filter) was never replaced. But its likely your oil filter housing gasket where it seals with the engine block. Not too hard to replace, just takes time. Air filter box and alternator have to come out.



#6 in that diagram
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:38 AM   #3
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Thanks. If it is that, based on what I have written above, whose fault is it? Or is it just a coincidence it failed around the time of the servicing?

Last edited by sea86; 12-03-2010 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:42 AM   #4
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:48 AM   #5
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Just coincidence. Seals, gaskets, anything made of rubber needs to be replaced on these cars every so often. That particular gasket is a common source of oil leaks on BMW 6-cylinder engines.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:54 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
Just coincidence. Seals, gaskets, anything made of rubber needs to be replaced on these cars every so often. That particular gasket is a common source of oil leaks on BMW 6-cylinder engines.
It's a 4 cyclinder. I'll try to get you a picture of what I can see.



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Old 12-03-2010, 11:18 AM   #7
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If your oil filter is on the top, then you have this gasket too.
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:14 PM   #8
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Oil cap can leak lots if o-ring put on wrong, or if second one added.

But burning almost always vcg. Clean exhaust heat shield n look for new drips...maybe they didn't replace it properly...who knows?

D

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Old 12-11-2010, 11:26 AM   #9
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Went to BMW main dealer. They charged me £357 to replace the rocker cover gasket again. It's still leaking from the exact same place! Pretty mad now. Any other ideas?
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Old 12-11-2010, 12:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
Oil filter housing gasket #6. The only way it could be your oil filter cap #4 seal is if you never change your oil and the gasket (which comes with a new oil filter) was never replaced. But its likely your oil filter housing gasket where it seals with the engine block. Not too hard to replace, just takes time. Air filter box and alternator have to come out.



#6 in that diagram
Ditto on the Item 6
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:17 PM   #11
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E46 mango, his car is a 318i, which has a four cylinder engine. This is not the right diagram.
It should be this one.

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Old 12-14-2010, 12:21 PM   #12
sea86
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Hi guys,

After paying BMW £357 - the car was STILL leaking oil.

So I took it back, this time they replaced the whole rocker cover. They said it was cracked.

What could cause a rocker cover to crack? They said the crack was right by the oil filler cap at the 2nd bolt. Could the first garage have overtightened it? Before I go accusing the first garage of damaging it, how likely do you all think it was damaged by them?

Keep in mind that 3 weeks ago the car was leaking so little oil I never even noticed, as soon as they replaced it the leak was bad enough to cause a smell and was visibly coming out!

Thanks
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:31 PM   #13
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jiggery-pokery - dishonest or deceitful behaviour or business; trickery

Sounds like you found one of GN's shops. I head that once his washer fluid reservoir was given a virus by one of those jiggery-pokerys.

Last edited by GCoop; 12-14-2010 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megalocnus View Post
E46 mango, his car is a 318i, which has a four cylinder engine. This is not the right diagram.
It should be this one.
Different diagram, still Item 6.
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmax View Post
Oil cap can leak lots if o-ring put on wrong, or if second one added.

But burning almost always vcg. Clean exhaust heat shield n look for new drips...maybe they didn't replace it properly...who knows?

D

and I'm on phone, so if I wrote something stupid, it might just be the phone!


listen to doug (dmax) , he will show you the way, seems to be the guy when it comes to leaks. cleanning the are with degreaser is always step one. remove splash guard and clean the bottom end off, and see exactly where the leak is coming from. but if it is the oil fliter housing it will be harder to see then a oil pan gasket leak.

my e46 leaks very very little, sometimes i see a quarter size oil spot, but not always.
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