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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 04-18-2015, 05:09 PM   #1
noah_karch
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Ohio
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My Ride: 2004 330xi
Exclamation '04 330xi, Leaking of Reddish Fluid (Transmission, Power Steering..?)

Just cross-posting this from reddit, help is again really appreciated guys!

Link for pictures regarding the issue: http://imgur.com/a/duv9P [1]
As the title says, I've been experiencing some form of constant leak that I only discovered had been going on today courtesy of my dad. I plan on posting to E46 Fanatics later, but know this is also a good place to start.
So, after pulling my car out like he had asked, right underneath where the engine would be to my car had accumulated a small amount of reddish fluid that looked clear from an angle, but when ran across with a finger, obviously a red-brown color. Now, for some background, when I was learning how to drive my car still, with it being a manual, I hit a pothole (thanks Great Lakes weather), and experienced temporarily a light signalling a possible radiator issue, however, over time, the indicator went away and was never to be seen again. Now back to the issue at hand, after pulling my car out, I looked underneath with my dad to survey what could possibly be the issue, and found that the plastic case beneath is cracked and the bolts (on the drivers side) are not holding up the case fully, but it's not dragging either. Feeling around, there are spots where the fluid seems to be dripping from, but it's not evident as to what is still causing it, and when rubbed around in your hands, it's a slightly oily substance. I recently bought this car a few months ago, and it's given me no issues, and there are still no warning indicators that would have notified me of this problem. The car is serviced for the next 4000 miles as per the sticker in the windshield, and there is currently around 150100 miles on it if I recall correctly. If you need more pictures, do ask! I was really just taking a shot in the dark with the pictures I took.
Help is appreciated!_a_
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:39 AM   #2
My325XI
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Charlotte, NC
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Hi. Could definitely be from the power steering or from the transmission or transfer case. They all take basically the same fluid. Get the car up on some ramps, lift, or jack stands to take off the plastic splash guards. Then begin the search for the leaking fluid. Clean off everything that is coated in fluid so that you can trace back where the fluid is coming from. Also check the engine bay from the top of the engine, look for leaking around the PS reservoir and hoses. The PS pump and lines are easier seen from the underside of the car. But that my guess... PS system leak. Have you needed to add fluid to the PS system?
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:53 PM   #3
Tlrtucker
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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My Ride: 2003 330xi
The splash shield causes any leaking fluid to whip all around and basically coat everything in fluid, making it difficult at times to find the leak.

If you hit something hard enough to cause the splash shield to tear up, then you could have easily done some damage to the power steering line that runs in front of the cross member. It sits right in front of that cross member, and could have easily been pinched. I'd start there...

Last edited by Tlrtucker; 04-21-2015 at 09:38 PM.
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