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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 03-14-2013, 07:29 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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My Ride: '04 E46 M3
Leak from differential? (pic)

Hey guys. So I noticed a small oil leak towards the rear of the car. After leaving it in the garage over night, it seems like it only leaked a few drops over night so it's not bad at this time. I am taking the car into a shop in a few weeks to get it looked at but wanted to see if anyone here could give me some clues to what it may be.

Any ideas where it might be coming from? Is it the differential? Any ways to fix without replacement? Thank you all in advance.

04 M3, 58k miles


Last edited by ME46SM; 03-14-2013 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:48 PM   #2
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Some M's had a recall for the diff seals.

Also, make sure your axles aren't working their way out from the diff. If so, hit them back in. That happened to me once.
- 2002 Steel Blue 325Ci -

Last edited by ThatGuy_JZ; 03-14-2013 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:08 PM   #3
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Most likely half-shaft seals.
Then driveshaft seal.
Then rear gasket leak.

All repairable; just takes $.

From your question, you'll not be doing this yourself.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:31 AM   #4
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Pinion seal seems to be the most common......somewhere at around 50-60k miles
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:42 AM   #5
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The wet spot is at the front of the diff. I'd bet it's a bad input seal. Might as well do the output seals while you're at it, and a fluid change if you haven't already done it.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:29 PM   #6
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thanks for the help guys
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