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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 10-14-2010, 03:26 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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My Ride: 2001 325i
Pesky Oil Leak Resolved

Picked up a 2003 330i w/ 83K miles and discovered one of the reasons it went to tyhe auction block. With the correct oil in the crankcase (opposed to the 60 weight?? I drained out) The car quickly developed a pesky oil leak at the passenger side rear of the engine that would drip onto the Catalytic Converter & make a really embarrasing could of white smoke every time you shut down the engine. From the bottom you could see the oil forming drops on a stainless steel bracket attached to the back of the head, then drip on the exhaust, about a drop every 20-30 seconds. VCG was the first attempt to cure, but I found a brand new gasket that was very pliable & clean & looked to be new, however they didn't apply the sealant at the key areas per TIS. Simple enough, reuse the gasket add sealant & button up. Same problem persists, did I screw up, remove & inspect, really inspect cover for cracks, none, my work was good, reseal again. Same problems, ran hand along base of cover, dry. All of my BMW "consultants" including re-reading many posts here all pointed to the VCG. Providence led me to look for pictures of the M54 engine backside, found one on ebay of an engine for sale with great pics. Here is what I found:
1) There is a freeze plug on the back of the head
2) There is a small (5mm allen head) oil galley plug in the center of the back side of the head.
Removed the cabin air filter housing, Removed the cover for the heater fan, reached down the back side of the head & felt oil around the plug! Took a 5mm allen wrench, attached a foot long piece of rubber hose to the wrench so I could hang onto it & not drop it, felt it into the head of the screw & BAM, the screw was very loose!, tightened a full turn, Hasn't leaked in 3K miles! Hope this helps someone alse......
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:12 PM   #2
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wow.. great find! can you post pics showing what you tightened?

Cheat Sheet:

GT1/ISIS/MoDiC = Factory authorized diagnostic system used by BMW dealerships across the world.

NCS Expert = BMW Factory R&D programming tool available on the internet (not intended for the public and not available to the dealership network)

OEM = Genuine BMW part only available from a franchised BMW dealership.

DME = Engine Management Computer
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:19 AM   #3
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Good work! Is the oil plug item #23 (07 11 9 919 112) in this diagram?
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:49 AM   #4
rowdy lee
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Excellent discovery and info! Thanks!
I'd buy it in a heartbeat... if only I wasn't living on the moon!
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:34 PM   #5
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Bookmarked. Thanks

'04 330CIC, 3 pedals, M Sports\Aerodynamics Packages
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:49 PM   #6
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Great info. I've got a leak I've got to take care of but I haven't yet determined whats causing it.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:27 AM   #7
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Originally Posted by NoVaDreier View Post
Good work! Is the oil plug item #23 (07 11 9 919 112) in this diagram?
bump for answer
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:23 PM   #8
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#23, Thats the one, it is a 5mm allen head & hard to reach, it has a crush washer on it but I just tightened it as is & if it ever leaks again I will remove, replace the washer & re-install. Another reference is that it is near dead center of the head, vertically & horizontally. With the blower motor cover off you can feel it with our fingers.
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Old 10-18-2010, 04:57 PM   #9
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I think this is the first and only useful General post of 2010

Well done.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:33 PM   #10
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Anyone got a photo of a pulled engine showing this area?
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