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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 10-18-2009, 06:31 PM   #1
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Question Burning oil smell?

lately there's been a burning oil smell coming into the cabin every once in awhile, while driving, especially when the car is cold, getting warm. i saw white smoke come out from the hood vents at the top also, a few times. the top vent meaning the vent near the windshield washer nozzles, NOT the kidney grilles. the oil is brand new, i changed it like 2 months ago, and it has less than 800 miles on it. also, the oil level is fine. what could it be? valve cover gasket? thanks in advance
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:04 PM   #2
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sounds like a valve cover gasket to me..
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:09 PM   #3
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Check the valve cover gasket along the exhaust side of the head.
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:51 PM   #4
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valve cover gasket. just had mine done due to the same problem.

Slowly maturing bmw...
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:16 PM   #5
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had same problem. wispy white smoke and stinky. changed mine out this afternoon. drove it home from the shop, let it sit for a bit. drove out to owasso(20mi) and back. no smoke or smell tonight.
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:36 AM   #6
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sweet deal, thanks a lot guys. i've had the valve cover gasket, vanos seals solution, and new spark plugs in my possession for over a year, i've just been too lazy to get to doing it the car feels incredibly slow also, so it's about time to do it, before it gets too cold
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:40 AM   #7
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+10000 deff the valve cover gasket.

Define M3
tiag 2000 323ci - sold
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Looking 4 e46 M3
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:17 AM   #8
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Definitely sounds like a leaking valve cover gasket. It's the curse we get for having tall inline engines that have to be tilted toward the exhaust to fit. Anything from the top of the engine will fall right onto the exhaust manifold or heat shield right above them.

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Old 10-19-2009, 03:31 AM   #9
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Fairly easy DIY. Get on it.
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