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Old 01-15-2017, 09:39 PM   #1
stephen330
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Glossy ATF cap?

Hi All,

As I was working on the car this afternoon (manual, e46 330i M54 2002), I noticed that the cap for the ATF fluid (on the right side of the engine compartment, next to the air filter box), looked quite shiny, compared to all other boxes/caps that are dark gray and dull. I checked the bottom of the hood for stains, nothing. It doesn't look like anything is leaking.

The cap says "ATF Only" so I suspect this is where you put transmission fluid Is it shiny/glossy for anyone else?

I cleaned it up with a rag and will check again in a few weeks to see if that continues.

Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:42 PM   #2
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If it's covered in oil most likely the o-ring in the cap has gone bad. A new o-ring will fix it
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:45 PM   #3
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If it's covered in oil most likely the o-ring in the cap has gone bad. A new o-ring will fix it
But the oil would spray upward? Is that possible?
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:48 PM   #4
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But the oil would spray upward? Is that possible?
It's weird but yeah the oil on the cap is ATF. You're talking about the reservoir on the right, right?

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Old 01-15-2017, 10:00 PM   #5
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Yes exactly! That's how mine looks like!

Last edited by Solidjake; 01-16-2017 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 01-15-2017, 10:30 PM   #6
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Clean it up good with a rag, toothbrush, maybe unbolt it and really get it clean.

Part number is #32411128333 for the new gasket.

Remember to get the brittle caked on old gasket off the cap first before installing the new one, it's usually flat pressed like a pancake. A screwdriver will make short work of it.
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Old 01-15-2017, 10:37 PM   #7
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its for your power steering not your transmission. but it does require atf lol
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Old 01-15-2017, 10:53 PM   #8
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You can replace the entire thing for like $20
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:27 PM   #9
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You can replace the entire thing for like $20
What do you mean by entire thing? The seal? Or the reservoir + cap + seal etc?
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by stephen330 View Post
What do you mean by entire thing? The seal? Or the reservoir + cap + seal etc?
All of it. https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/por...-32411097164my
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Old 01-16-2017, 12:00 AM   #11
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Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. I'll try the gasket for now. Thanks a lot!
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:15 AM   #12
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Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. I'll try the gasket for now. Thanks a lot!


The cap has a vent hole that runs up through the dip stick and vents out of the little hole you will find on the edge of the finger gripper things. Lol. Anyhow there is usually always a small amount that vents out of that spot but I do think you have a seal problem as well. I bought a complete reservoir brand new off eBay for less than $13 with free shipping. Fit perfect and seals nice.


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Old 01-16-2017, 10:40 AM   #13
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Mine looks the same. All nasty and gunky. I got a seal coming for the cap per BMW_north recommendation... Will clean it all up and then see how that works out for us before I replace the entire unit.
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Old 01-16-2017, 11:24 AM   #14
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Mine looks the same. All nasty and gunky. I got a seal coming for the cap per BMW_north recommendation... Will clean it all up and then see how that works out for us before I replace the entire unit.
Wise move. Even though the whole assembly seems cheap, a ring is even cheaper. Given all the other repairs I've done to this car, I'm erring on the side of saving money where I can.
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Old 01-23-2017, 12:47 AM   #15
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Installed the new gasket today, let's see if the leak stops.
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Old 01-23-2017, 01:26 AM   #16
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Installed the new gasket today, let's see if the leak stops.
It will probably stop the leak, but a new reservoir will give you a new filter along with everything else.
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Old 01-23-2017, 01:39 AM   #17
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It will probably stop the leak, but a new reservoir will give you a new filter along with everything else.
Right, but I'd need to do a coolant flush and for that, I probably need to jack the car up. I was looking at car ramps from Harbor Freight, which I purchased. Turns out my 330i is too low and I can't even climb them (the bumper is in the way). I am now considering building my own ramps from some other forum using douglar fir wood. Then I'll be able to start dealing with fluids.

I'm not so hot on using jack stands, hence the ramps.
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Old 01-23-2017, 03:59 AM   #18
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its for your power steering not your transmission. but it does require atf lol
^this
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasnhamman View Post
The cap has a vent hole that runs up through the dip stick and vents out of the little hole you will find on the edge of the finger gripper things. Lol. Anyhow there is usually always a small amount that vents out of that spot but I do think you have a seal problem as well.
^and this
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:38 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by stephen330 View Post
Right, but I'd need to do a coolant flush and for that, I probably need to jack the car up. I was looking at car ramps from Harbor Freight, which I purchased. Turns out my 330i is too low and I can't even climb them (the bumper is in the way). I am now considering building my own ramps from some other forum using douglar fir wood. Then I'll be able to start dealing with fluids.



I'm not so hot on using jack stands, hence the ramps.


A coolant flush?
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Old 01-23-2017, 07:50 AM   #20
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Installed the new gasket today, let's see if the leak stops.
It won't.

Take a close look at the cap and find the built-in vent hole.

That's where the goo is coming from. I remember when my E46 was brand new, within about a month of ownership and just a few hundred miles, my power steering cap was already full of goo.



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