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Old 03-16-2011, 09:24 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Cleveland
Posts: 7
My Ride: 330xi
Burning oil smell at idle

70k miles, cold climate but garaged. During week days itís driven about 5minutes only if the weather is too bad to walk or running late. It's usually just driven on the weekends about 100 miles. I noticed a couple times that I could smell burning rubber (thought it was synthetic oil) from the vents when stopped at idle. When the smell was present if I waited long enough at idle I could see a small amount of smoke from the rear of the engine near the firewall. Shortly after I had these parts replaced

valve cover gasket
Oil Separator Repair kit (insulated)
Dip Stick Guide Tube
Separator hose
Lower intake hose
Coolant expansion tank
Water pump
Oil change
Disa valve
Oil filter housing gasket
Other misc.

After the work was complete I drove about 200 miles that weekend and everything seemed fine. Fast forward to the next weekend and it starts to smoke a little again. Thought maybe it was a piece of the old valve cover gasket on the exhaust burning off. The next day it was fine. Fast forward about 2 weeks to today. I drive about 10min on the highway and wait in the parking lot idling for 5min waiting and then it starts to smoke again, same smell, etc.

What might I be missing here?
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:20 AM   #2
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Location: NJ
Posts: 23,709
My Ride: '99 328i 300K miles
It sounds like it's the vcg again...that's always our burning oil smell...almost always.

Clean up the exhaust mani heat shield and see if you get burned oil deposits there...and when cool, run your finger along underneath the VC. If you get oil there, then it might just be a matter of incorrect torque, or failure to clean up mating surfaces properly, lack of rtv in the right place. Usually, I think the half moons in the rear are where a leak might show...just coz it's hardest to see if it's aligned properly back there.

You did this or a shop did this?

Clean up under VC and see if it returns--there is a small possibility that you haven't driven it enough to burn off the residue left from your work on it.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:00 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: CA
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My Ride: 03 325ci, 11 Z4 35i
Originally Posted by driving0 View Post
What might I be missing here?
Oil filter housing gasket might be leaking. Oil leaks down the left side of the engine and makes its way back onto the exhaust pipe. It get hard & brittle just like the other soft goods.
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:27 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. The oil filter housing gasket was also replaced at the same time. I had a knowledgable friend do all the work. I'll have to take a closer look tomorrow night.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:45 AM   #5
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My Ride: 2001 330ci 5spd
Did you ever find out what it was? I had my VCG replaced only to have the smell right away. About to have it redone. Would love to save the extra bread if it's only the Oil Filter Housing Gasket.
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