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Old 08-14-2012, 01:34 AM   #1
StatureSteez
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HELP! Faint Smoke from Beneath Engine

About 3 weeks ago I noticed a funky burnt smell come from under the hood of my 2003 325i after I turned the car off. I noticed the smell a few more times but thought it started to go away so I kind of forgot about it. Just a couple of days ago I noticed the smell again, opened the hood, and saw a very faint smoke coming from under the left side of the engine (for about 2 minutes). I checked it again today and noticed the same problem. Tomorrow, I have to drive about 3 hours to get to school so I'm wondering if anyone has any clue what the problem could be. It smells to me like some kind of fluid is burning after the engine is shut off. (There are no fluid leaks of any kind in my driveway).

The car has been running perfectly fine. Engine temp. is right where it should be, and I have no lights on on the dash. Is the car safe to drive? Any ideas what the problem could be would be great.


This is where the faint smoke is coming from under the hood -->
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:54 AM   #2
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something is either sitting on your headers (a wire or vacuum hose) or oil is dripping on them. it's pretty common when the valve cover starts leaking because the oil will drip out onto the headers, burn, and not leave a trace other than a smell.
rub a cloth around your valve cover to check for leaks
you should be good to drive if you can verify your valve cover is the problem and your oil level is fine. valve cover leaks are slow and not threatening over short periods of time
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:51 AM   #3
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Probably time to replace your valve cover gasket.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:39 AM   #4
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Valve cover gasket. Beisansystems.com has a great write-up for it.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:40 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, I checked all around the valve cover and there were no leaks that I could find. I also checked the oil and it looks good too. I was just really hoping it wasn't an expensive problem because smoke from the engine area is never good
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:40 PM   #6
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oil
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:41 PM   #7
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I will get around to fixing it later this week. I'll let you know if the problem ends up to be the valve cover gasket or not.
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:19 PM   #8
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100% vcg.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:01 AM   #9
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Replaced the VCG today. Still noticed the burnt smell but am hoping the old sludge just needs to be burnt off. If I still notice it in a few weeks I'll consider looking for other oil leaking areas and possible steering fluid leak.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:08 AM   #10
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Fix it now or this will happen
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:10 AM   #11
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whaaat? what was the cause of that?
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:14 AM   #12
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oil caught on fire
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:20 AM   #13
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As far as I know the VCG was the only cause of oil leak. So I should be good for now at least. But I am truly sorry to hear about that tragedy.
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