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Old 10-18-2013, 02:25 PM   #1
nateo
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Where is my oil leak coming from?

ok, so I have a 330ci convertable. mfr date 12/01.

first off I have read the common oil leak thread and found to be very helpful. But I'm having a heck of a time figuring this one out.

I have recently replaced valve cover gasket (about a month ago). I knew it was bad because I was getting oil on the exhaust manifold heat shield . I could also smell the oil vaporizing on the exhaust.

no longer have oil on heat shield but I am still getting the vaporized oil smell. Also sometimes there is steam coming from engine bay like when I had the bad valve cover gasket. I suppose it's possible I didn't install something correctly but I can't see any oil around the valve cover gasket. Other then occasionally I see some residue on one of the big main hoses front left of engine under valve cover. But I whipped it off recently and it hasn't come back yet.

I checked the oil separator drain tube recently (when I replaced my disa) and it looked fine.

I can't find any oil residue but I suspect the vaporized oil might be a clue that someone knows. Anyone have any guesses?

Last edited by nateo; 10-21-2013 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 10-18-2013, 02:51 PM   #2
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One other thing. I never see any oil on the ground.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:01 PM   #3
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CHeck your cabin air filter. If you pulled it out while replacing stuff, you may have gotten it dirty.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:16 PM   #4
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could also be the oil filter housing gasket. Did you use RTV silicon to seal the half moons when you replace the gasket?
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:17 PM   #5
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CHeck your cabin air filter. If you pulled it out while replacing stuff, you may have gotten it dirty.
I replaced it when did I the vcg. The engine oil is low.
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:18 PM   #6
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could also be the oil filter housing gasket. Did you use RTV silicon to seal the half moons when you replace the gasket?
yes but not sure if I put it in correct places
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Old 10-19-2013, 04:12 AM   #7
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I'm going to bet that your car is actually either leaking oil through the vcg and into your spark plug wells, and/or oil is being sent into your combustion chamber and coating the tips of your spark plugs. had the same issue until i swapped out ccv.
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Old 10-19-2013, 06:54 AM   #8
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I'm going to bet that your car is actually either leaking oil through the vcg and into your spark plug wells, and/or oil is being sent into your combustion chamber and coating the tips of your spark plugs. had the same issue until i swapped out ccv.
Thank you for your insight. Did you have white smoke out your exhaust when this was occuring? Also does one need to replace spark plugs? Any way to know for sure if it's the ccv?
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Old 10-19-2013, 12:19 PM   #9
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Well, you're in Ohio and i assume it's cold. It's fairly cold here too in Oregon and i had thought that the constant billowing of white smoke (which ended up being condensation) was concerning until I asked my uncle. He said it was normal. The exhaust smoke didn't smell like anything alarming. I still puff white smoke out all the time but I can see now it's because that exhaust temp is a lot hotter than the environment temp. Since it's been sunny, it's only smoking in the morning or late at night but midday when the suns shining, just a little bit of white vapor is visible.

to be sure it's the ccv, open the oil cap while motor is running. Is there an unusually strong suction there? If not just check your plugs. If they're fouled than you know because you have to ask yourself one question. How the heck is it getting in there?

if your plugs look fine, perhaps it's the vanos.

plus even if you checked that drain tube, that doesn't rule it out. It could be clogged, which would force the ccv to not function correctly, sending oil through the wrong tube.
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Last edited by NumbaOneNewb; 10-19-2013 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:05 PM   #10
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Well, you're in Ohio and i assume it's cold. It's fairly cold here too in Oregon and i had thought that the constant billowing of white smoke (which ended up being condensation) was concerning until I asked my uncle. He said it was normal. The exhaust smoke didn't smell like anything alarming. I still puff white smoke out all the time but I can see now it's because that exhaust temp is a lot hotter than the environment temp. Since it's been sunny, it's only smoking in the morning or late at night but midday when the suns shining, just a little bit of white vapor is visible.

to be sure it's the ccv, open the oil cap while motor is running. Is there an unusually strong suction there? If not just check your plugs. If they're fouled than you know because you have to ask yourself one question. How the heck is it getting in there?

if your plugs look fine, perhaps it's the vanos.

plus even if you checked that drain tube, that doesn't rule it out. It could be clogged, which would force the ccv to not function correctly, sending oil through the wrong tube.
Only a small amount of suction when I remove the oil cap. I just have this feeling that it is something internal to engine. When the problem is occurring (oil burning) I take the oil cap off and smoke or steam seems to come out from the oil cap. The engine bay has always seemed pretty hot to me. (i just got this car this summer). my mileage is at 125k.
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:14 PM   #11
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One other thing. I never see any oil on the ground.
If you dont see oil on the ground its either a seep, not a leak or something is catching it.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:51 AM   #12
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Well you're due to change the ccv someday soon. Might as well schedule it in. Our engines always seem to run abnormally hot. It's just the way it is
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:50 AM   #13
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Maybe the lower chain tensioner?
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Old 10-22-2013, 05:15 AM   #14
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PS fluid commonly leaks...ofhg...ccv (have you removed underskirt and looked?)

...and also, the oil filter cap 0-ring...to name our popular leaking sites.

hth
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:46 PM   #15
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Even though its not all put back together completelyi i'm going to go ahead and declare victory. I dug into the ccv project tonight. Looks like the hose on top near valve cover is collapsed. I suspect oil has been coming out of that hose. Just need to order parts now and put it all back together. Thanks guys.
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Old 10-25-2013, 09:12 AM   #16
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yes its possible when you pull the hose off the valve cover too forcefully you can break it.
I would double check VCG and OFHG.
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