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Engine & Performance
Everything to make your car faster! Air intakes, superchargers, turbos, flywheel & clutch, differentials, chips, short shift kits, exhausts, etc.....

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Old 10-16-2013, 01:31 PM   #1
califrench
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Smoke coming out of engine compartment

Hi all,

I had some smoke come out of my engine compartment a few days ago after driving aggressively for a few miles. This just happened again today, more smoke cam out of the hood and the car was definitely quite hot. Engine temperature totally normal though according to my temperature gauge.

The smoke came out of the passenger side of the engine. And I'm 99% sure it's the valve cover gasket that's leaking.
It smells like burnt and it's gray smoke. I can also see a brown trace on the side of the engine.

So I have a couple questions. Why does this happen only when I drive aggressively? I would expect it to happen all the time. But if it doesn't then I guess my oil isn't leaking most of the time. Second, how urgent is the replacement of the valve cover gasket?
And also, in the meantime, should I just keep a very close eye on the oil level before I get it replaced?

Thanks a lot for your help!

Scott


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Old 10-16-2013, 02:45 PM   #2
Rick325i
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Originally Posted by califrench View Post
Hi all,

I had some smoke come out of my engine compartment a few days ago after driving aggressively for a few miles. This just happened again today, more smoke cam out of the hood and the car was definitely quite hot. Engine temperature totally normal though according to my temperature gauge.

The smoke came out of the passenger side of the engine. And I'm 99% sure it's the valve cover gasket that's leaking.
It smells like burnt and it's gray smoke. I can also see a brown trace on the side of the engine.

So I have a couple questions. Why does this happen only when I drive aggressively? I would expect it to happen all the time. But if it doesn't then I guess my oil isn't leaking most of the time. Second, how urgent is the replacement of the valve cover gasket?
And also, in the meantime, should I just keep a very close eye on the oil level before I get it replaced?

Thanks a lot for your help!

Scott


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First off you posted in the wrong section of the Forum, this is the "For Sale" section.

It happened to me before, it's the valve cover leaking oil into the manifold and that's what you're smelling when the oil drips into the hot manifold, the resulting steam gets sucked in into the cabin (short term solution, shut off your air vent from the inside)
If you had some work done recently on the engine then it's just not properly put back in or torqued properly, use high temp sealant and make sure to let it dry before using the car. (some people say no need for sealant but, it never worked for me without the sealant) so, to each his own.

If nothing was done to the car and it suddenly have this problem, then I suspect there's crack somewhere. (bad news) usually it leak develops right above the rear 02 sensor.

It usually happens when you drive aggressive because that's when oil gets pushed up to that level and pressure pushes it out (so don't drive aggressively, lol), I wouldn't say it's critical to get the gasket replace but you'll suffer from that "aroma" inside the cabin (usually strong when you get to the stop light right? cause the steam is not dispersed) and yeah just watch the oil level.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:47 PM   #3
VALMONT
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also check your oil filter housing gasket, when that goes, it goes!
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:14 PM   #4
califrench
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Hi Rick and Valmont,

Thanks for your reply.
Sorry about the post, I thought this was the Engine/Performance Section. Is there a way to move it?

Luckily I haven't had any smell in the cabin except when I get home and park while light smoke is coming from the engine compartment.

The car has 126k miles so no doubt that it just cracked over time. I'll keep track of the oil level and check the oil filter housing gasket. I believe that one is fine since I changed the oil a week ago an didn't notice anything near the oil filter.

I'll also go easy on the pedal till I get this fixed. Any one knows a good reliable place to get the gasket at a fair price?

Thanks again for your help
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:40 PM   #5
Rick325i
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Originally Posted by califrench View Post
Hi Rick and Valmont,

Any one knows a good reliable place to get the gasket at a fair price?

Thanks again for your help
Check out this one:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...e+cover+gasket

Just make sure it's the same part # as yours

If that's sold you can check out Pelicanparts.com
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Old 10-18-2013, 05:28 PM   #6
califrench
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Smoke coming out of engine compartment

I'll check pelicanparts! What about ecstunning.com?


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Old 10-19-2013, 01:04 AM   #7
BMARTINW
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Yeah wrong place to post, It's your valve cover gasket, when it leaks it leaks on the exhaust heat shields and it makes it smoke, it most likely is leaking from the back half moons, make sure you replace it with the oem one and all the grommets too,and only use a little sealant not the corners of the half moons and make sure there super clean, when you drive the car hard and the I time is under a load it creates pressure in the engine and it makes it leak faster.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:10 PM   #8
goodtohave
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How much do you want for the smoke?

I would like to buy it, my car needs some
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Old 10-20-2013, 11:54 PM   #9
califrench
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How much do you want for the smoke?

I would like to buy it, my car needs some
55$ like this I can pay for the parts.
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