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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 02-08-2015, 08:26 PM   #1
Paul03
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Posts: 17
My Ride: 2002 325Ci coupe
Burning Smell coming from vents

I have a 2002 325ci, and whenever the A/C or heat is on, and i give my car some gas I get hit with this awful burning smell, almost smelling like exhaust. I'm not sure why I'm smelling this. The weird thing is, the smell only happens sometimes and when i took it to my local shop they had no clue and acted like I was crazy because they never smelled the burning smell while trying to see what was wrong. Has anyone had any similar issues and figured it out? Or does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:42 AM   #2
Solidjake
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 24,936
My Ride: '02 330i 6MT
Most likely your valve cover gasket is leaking some oil which is going on your exhaust manifold and burning off.

Check the forum for valve cover gaskest DIY and you will see where it can leak, etc. The gasket with the 15 grommets should cost you no more than $50 and if you need a shop to do it no more than 1.5hrs at most
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Old 02-10-2015, 12:49 AM   #3
Jas01
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Must be gasket problem..
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Old 02-21-2015, 03:55 AM   #4
dck8267
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Burbank, CA
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My Ride: 2003 325ci M56
I have the same problem, from what i can tell its intermittent due to varying pressure the engine is under (after hard driving i smell it alot) but i just replaced VCG and i noticed oil pan is also leaking now...im thinking my ccv is bad but unfortunately i have the M56 so i dont know of a way to even test it!
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Old 03-06-2015, 07:30 AM   #5
Proverbs
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I've encountered this problem since day one.
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:13 PM   #6
Optio
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I had this problem when I hit about 110,000 miles. Just replace the VCG and Vanos Seals. Also, use brake cleaner spray to remove the dripped oil on the back side of the engine and exhaust manifold.
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:48 AM   #7
Sh0ty
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Agreed with the above posters, this is likely oil dripping on to your exhaust manifold and burning, however it does not necessarily need to come from a certain gasket. In my case, my oil filter housing was leaking. If possible try to ascertain the exact location of the leak; cleaning your engine and then driving it could help. Good luck!
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