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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:23 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: MD
Posts: 10
My Ride: 2001 330i
a few problems

I am having a number of problems with my 2001 330i with about 150,000 miles:
1.) occasional rhythmic wheezing sound coming from the front of the engine below the oil filter housing and power steering fluid reservior. I'm not sure wheezing accurately describes it but it is as close as I can come. Its loud, pronounced, and definetly not normal
2.) milky gunk in tube that runs from the valve cover to the oil separator unit indicative of CCV system failure, but I replaced the CCV system (oil separator and all the tubes running out of it) a year ago with cold climate version. A few months ago I replaced the valve cover gasket and there was no gunk there at that time.
3.) sometimes, about 10 seconds after start up the oil level low tell tale light comes on yellow for about 10 seconds and then shuts off. It does not come back on after engine shut off to indicate low oil level. Oil level is fine.
4.) appears there is an oil leak around oil pan gasket. Probably common on any car this old
Perhaps they are all related, or perhaps there are separate issues entirely. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:22 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: CT
Posts: 2,115
My Ride: 2001 325i
#4) Clean the lower engine until it's spotless, especially above the oil pan and around the oil filter housing. An oil filter housing leak can look like an oil pan leak, and trust me, it's much easier to replace that gasket than the oil pan gasket. Drive around a bit to confirm where the leak is coming from. If it is the oil pan gasket, you might read this thread about a DIY replacement. Or take it to the dealer and write the $1000 check, or an indie for (likely) less.

#3) Sounds like the oil level sensor in the oil pan needs replacement. Easy to do when changing the oil. New sensor should come with a new gasket (if not, you can buy one separately).

#2) Do you do short drives when the weather is cold, so that the engine doesn't have a chance to warm up? If the white gunk is water vapor-related, which can happen when an engine doesn't warm up all the way, it can contribute to wrecking a CCV.

#1) Power steering has enough fluid? If you look at the diagram nathancarter posted, below, as you go below the power steering reservoir and the oil filter housing, you have a little to the side is the water pump, the alternator, power steering pump, and a tensioner and pulley. If it's predictable at idle, drop the lower tray and from above/below isolate what's creating the sound. Of course be careful around the spinning belt and pulleys.

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