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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 09-22-2011, 05:36 PM   #1
TR4G-
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Xi leaking what seems to be clear fluid?

My car seems to be leaking clear fluid from under the middle front of my car. What fluids are clear? I saw the leak, pulled forward and checked the damp spot on the pavement and it seemed to be almost like water. What could this be?
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:02 PM   #2
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Clear fluids are few and far between on most cars, especially if it was clear and not slick like oil. Were you running the air conditioning? If so, it was probably exactly that, water, draining out of the evaporator case. If you weren't running the A/C, it could be a couple of things. If it rained on your car over night, it could just be a drain from your sunroof or cowl area. Other options (assuming it wasn't slick, like oil) could be windshield washer fluid or maybe coolant from the engine (but even watered down coolant would have a sweet smell/taste to it).
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:43 PM   #3
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is your windshield wiper fluid clear? if your car has xenons your squirters are probably leaking
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:10 AM   #4
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from the middle of the car is AC or a body drain of some kind. mine does that too.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:05 PM   #5
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from the middle of the car is ac or a body drain of some kind. Mine does that too.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:05 PM   #6
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Yeah I guess that would make sense, because I've rechecked the spots on the ground several times and they still seem to be just water. What do you guys think about this picture though? I took this about 1 month ago when I was switching out various suspension items. Kubica said it looked like an oil leak of some sort or possibly power steering hoses? Is there anyway to follow up on the oil leak idea? How would you measure if you thought you had one? [I'm talking about all that gunk near the right side, is that the diff meeting the tranny, or the tranny meeting the engine, lol or the diff meeting the engine]


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Old 09-26-2011, 10:16 PM   #7
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Looks like CV joint grease to me. Though the location is a bit odd.
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Old 09-26-2011, 10:40 PM   #8
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Looks like CV joint grease to me. Though the location is a bit odd.
Ok I was thinking that too, because I repacked my front inner and outer cv boots with the kits from pelican parts and I caught the tear soon enough that my joints were not compromised, and there was grease all over the wheels. But I don't know how that grease would have gotten into that area....
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:13 AM   #9
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That's the front diff mounting to the oil pan. So it could be a leak from the diff or an axle shaft seal. Does anyone reading this know how the half-shaft runs through the oil pan? In other words, are there seals on either side of the oil pan where the shaft runs through it or is there a "tunnel" of sorts that the half-shaft runs through without actually penetrating into the oil pan?

At any rate, the leak in question could also be coming from your power steering pump and/or reservoir. If you're going after all your fluid leaks, good luck.
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:16 AM   #10
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Definitely oil filter housing gasket.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:16 AM   #11
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^ yup
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:26 PM   #12
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Definitely oil filter housing gasket.
^Yep, Do the VANOS oil line and crush washers at the same time as the oil filter housing gasket. Also check the oil pressure swith on the filter housing. Could be the oil return line (to oil pan) from the cyclone seperator (oil seperator).

From the looks of it, you need to get under the car more often. All that road grime has taken some time to build up to that level.

I guess being on the East coast, all those oil leaks keep the chassis from rusting away!

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