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Thread: Oil Leak confirmed

      
  1. #1
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    Default Oil Leak confirmed

    Hi All,

    I ‘d like to share my recent engine oil leak story as I would like your suggestions and it might also be useful for other members. My 330’s is 9 years old now but has been treated very well and with only 100K on the clock, I hope to have her making another 100K…

    Last week an oil leak was noticed and she was taken to an independent shop to identify/fix the problem. The valve cover gasket and oil cooler were wet with oil (no pictures) so the guys suggested that the Valve Cover, VANOS and oil cooler gaskets were replaced. So they did.

    One day latter there were still oil stains on the ground after being parked for a few hours. Took it back to the shop, car raised, splash shield removed and again there was oil everywhere, quite a bit of a mess. They cleaned the splash shield and the engine area covered in oil. Went for a spin came back and had a look for fresh oil. Nothing conclusive. It was suggested that it could have been residual oil that had dripped when the Valve Cover and Oil Cooler were removed. I agreed to keep monitoring for ground oil stains and oil level and go back after a few days.

    A few days after, the oil stains were still there. So went back. Car raised; the splash shield was soaked same with the underside of the engine area. The Valve cover was ruled out (not wet) and same with the oil cooler. However the FWD LH side of the Engine Head gasket was wet (intake manifold side). The guys suggested that the manifold should be removed, gaskets replaced and that should fix the problem. They wouldn’t do that job themselves and recommended to do it at the dealer as they have the equipment required for reprogramming after the manifold installation. Didn’t quite get how that would stop the leak as there is no oil involved with manifolds. Anyway, I decided to call it a day and take her to the Dealer soon as possible.

    Same night when I returned home I started a bloody CSI investigation on-line and came across a discussion in a US forum about broken/sheared engine bolts. Allegedly, quite a few 3series-N52 owners have experience sheared Engine Head bolts and subsequent oil leak.
    Link: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...oken+head+bolt

    The symptoms I was reading were identical, so took a good torch, slipped in my flip-flops and at 3am was head first in the engine compartment looking for the sheared bolt…and BINGO..there was one! It is the Engine Head bolt next to the Oil Filter housing described in above link.


    So the question now is, what would be the best approach? Anybody knows of any recalls or TIS from BMW? Anyone out there having tackled this failure?
    All suggestions welcome..

    P.S. When the vanos/valve-cover/oil-cooler gaskets replacement was done, engine oil was topped up. Now it is at ¾ between Min and Max. I am keeping below 2500rpm and monitoring daily.








  2. #2
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    Well, I don't know if there were any recalls on this. I'd suggest you take it to our sponsor Octane @shak who can sort you out on this. He can hook you up and see what it is about.
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  3. #3

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    Hmmm this should be a good thread.

    But unfortunately, i've got no experience with this engine. Seems like in US there was no TIS either. so i doubt there is one in existence. I'd say, check with the service for any SIB's for your chassis number.

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    Default

    Unless you are a good mechanic with a lot of tools and skills for small machine work you would be best to take it to the agency or a shop you can trust. This is a difficult fix due to the confined space to work it but if you have the right person doing the work they may be able to fix it without taking the head off. Call the Octain shop to see if they know of this issue and have fixed it before. The hard part of this is removing the broken stud without damaging the threads the new bolt will need to be installed correctly.

    Being your ride is likely out of warranty unless there is a BMW paid for recall you are out of luck to get it for free.

    Good luck

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  6. #5
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    Default

    Back from the dead!!
    Came back to the forum after long time and realised that I didn't finish the story I started (almost 2yrs back!)
    In the interest of appropriate closure, I am resurrecting the thread for a quick finale!
    To cut the long story short, the intake manifold was removed and the sheared bolt was replaced with new. No that much big of a deal as that particular bolt is mostly applying pressure on the Time Chain housing side.
    Regardless, the leak was not from there.
    It was the PCV Oil Separator AND the Oil Cooler Gasket.
    Hope this helps someone with similar symptoms.

    Since then she was super supernice to me, only 2 windows regulators (RL, RR) and 1 starter motor...she is sooo well behaved!

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  8. #6

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    haha...better late than never thanks for the closure. Hope you'll be more active henceforth and not take such loooooooong breaks

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    Basically when you send the car to any shop, you should make sure that bolts are NEVER reused as they are all from aluminium and BMW recommends to buy new ones when replacing things. This applies also to head cover bolts, and many others.

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