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Old 10-15-2011, 04:39 PM   #1
selien
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Eeeek... Oil leak... but from where??... (pics)

Got bored last night and decided to do a oil change.

Jacked the car up and put my pan underneath to see my under engine cover (or whatever its called) to look abit wet around the edges. So I decided to take a look and see whats going on underneath there.

Symptoms:

Last oil change was about 3 months ago, last oil level check was last week, (I check water/oil every week) it doesn't seem like I'm losing oil.

Ive never needed to top up and because last week my oil still looked fairly clean and golden/yellow upon checking, I decided to wait changing oil for a while.

There is never a burning smell coming from my engine bay.
Nor is there never any smoke from my engine bay.

I park in the same spot every week at home and work, I never see any oil drips/patches on the ground.

Leak seems to be more intense on the right side (while facing it) of the vehicle

Attached are night photos, hope to take some better ones soon, but it gives you a idea, I hope.











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Old 10-15-2011, 04:43 PM   #2
edsmax
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Check your power steering fluid
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:53 PM   #3
selien
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oooh good call..

Just checked it and yea seems abit low, seems to be just over half full.

The housing or whatever you call it seems abit dirty and grimey.

Any recommended ATF fluid I should use to top up with?

Obviously I need to change a seal or the complete plastic unit where my power steering fluid sits in?
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selien View Post
oooh good call..

Just checked it and yea seems abit low, seems to be just over half full.

The housing or whatever you call it seems abit dirty and grimey.

Any recommended ATF fluid I should use to top up with?

Obviously I need to change a seal or the complete plastic unit where my power steering fluid sits in?
The dirty housing being grimey is unfortunately normal. check the clamp on the hose that is right below the PS reservoir. Sometimes that will leak and the fluid will run down the hose on the outside and collect on that under engine shield you removed.

USe ATF in the power steering reservoir (check your owners manual to be sure, you want to put the correct fluid in).
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:00 PM   #5
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mine looks the same

been thinking its my ps fluid......guess these fellows just confirmed it!
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:05 PM   #6
selien
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Thx for your quick help, much appreciated
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:39 PM   #7
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that the ofhg that is leaking. i have the same exact leak
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:50 PM   #8
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I bet your ofhg is leaking but that also your ps hoses are leaking too.

My PS Reservoir doesn't leak, btw. They all don't!

First, replace the $2 gasket on PS reservoir or just get the whole new reservoir for $20 (ZF is the maker). Get new hoses or try just reclamping them first, if you like. They'll leak beneath the reservoir. Turkey baste out the excess, get two screw clamps, trim off 1/2" of hose (or replace hoses) and clamp on.

If you're replacing the hose end on PS pump, get a clamp for that too.

If it's leaking by the radiator, then there are 'hacks' for removing that hose. Think getting a new one is the only way there, but there might just be a seal you can get.

Also, if keeping your old reservoir, clean out the vent hole in it. I heard that the brake cleaner I used wasn't good...so use something to blow it out that won't melt plastic!

Then, fill with dex III and if it was dirty when you began, continue turkey basting and bleeding (turning wheel to full stop each direction a few times--I do this while rolling slowly to be nice to my tires!).

Oh, most important thing last. Clean off the undersides and drive a few days and find the highest source of the leak.

That said, once you positively identify the source, let us know...it's probably not an emergency from the looks of it. Something you can plan and do right...though I'd get to finding the source soonish.

Engine degreaser and a rinse with water works pretty well!
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:00 PM   #9
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If your power steering reservoir hoses are leaking, I posted some observations after replacing them at http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=788513

If the OFHG is leaking, that's surprising easy to change. Takes awhile, but not too difficult. There are DIY's to help.

Hope that it's not your oil pan gasket leaking. I thought I took care of the leak with the OFHG, however, the oil pan gasket was the issue. Dealer wanted close to $1000 to replace, so I did it myself. The BMW gasket is only like $30, so that should give you an idea of the labor involved. Also posted observations on changing it at http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=844442

I used Mobil 1 synthetic ATF.
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:12 PM   #10
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The dirty housing being grimey is unfortunately normal. check the clamp on the hose that is right below the PS reservoir. Sometimes that will leak and the fluid will run down the hose on the outside and collect on that under engine shield you removed.

USe ATF in the power steering reservoir (check your owners manual to be sure, you want to put the correct fluid in).
I use the Castrol ATF Import fluid from autozone, works good and no problems so far. As far as grimmy res - Don't over do it but make sure its pretty tight, more then you normally would. That will cut down on fluid all over it but ya that is normal unfortunately. Mine doesn't make a mess like that though.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:01 AM   #11
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that the ofhg that is leaking. i have the same exact leak
The OP's leak is the power steering hoses.

Unless your power steering hoses are leaking too, you do not have the exact same leak.
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