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Thread: Smell of burning oil with no oil leaks

  1. #1
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    Smell of burning oil with no oil leaks

    I have an 03 BMW 325i sedan. I have been experiencing a burning smell when I drive occasionally. It is not all the time and it is not every time neither. I park on cardboard to chase leaks and the cardboard stays dry. My oil level is at the high mark on the dipstick. I do not know what to suspect. I have been told to check the purge solenoid valve but, I have no clue what that does nor where it is and how to fix it? I need help diagnosing the problem and tips to fix it. Please help.

  2. #2
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    l am almost certain it is your valve cover gasket, look down the pass side of your engine, is there any oil residue on the little alum shields above the exhaust manifolds? This is a common source of this exact issue, I had the same, VCG solved it.
    Chris

    2008 528i - Deep Green Metallic

  3. #3
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    I too vote for the VCG, it can be difficult to see down there, so get a flashlight and inspect it closely.

  4. #4
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    Yes and the fact that the oil from VCG burns off on the exhaust as opposed to leaking...,also, it's really such a small amount, might not even register on the dipstick.
    Are you absolutely sure it's burning oil you're smelling? and not the infamous crayon smell or something other?
    93 e36 vert / 95 E36 M3 Alpine / 98 M3/4 Estoril / 00 '46 Frankenbimmer CI , 68s / shark tooth injected driver bolster with slimline low gloss duct tape / angled front pass kidney grill with custom eject hood release / EE LEDs moisture sealed/ Pep Boys silicone / Google sky point OEM HIDs with glovebox leveling arm after wishbone install / custom BMW round pin diagnostic to USB cabin routed laptop with INPA for constant CE light delete / sock modded / t-shirt mod / clicking sound.

  5. #5
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    Also...when you're looking around in there, don't hesitate to inspect the oil filter housing o-ring area.

    by Dane Wilson, on Flickr

  6. #6
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    check your passenger side wheel brake caliper... it might not be retracting...

  7. #7
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    Take a good hard drive, hard corners, rev it up a bit.

    Get home, shut down the engine, pop the engine compartment, you might actually see a little smoke coming up from the left rear side (facing towards rear) if your gasket is really cooked.

    Do you get the smell waiting at traffic signals? With the blower running?

    If you do the VCG, get ready to do a lil work on the old gasket, mine was the consistency of plastic after 100k miles, I used a pick tool to get all the bits out of the valve cover rim. You may want to replace the gaskets around the ignition coils as well, they like to leak and make a mess atop the valve cover. Enjoy!
    My beloved, 2000 323i, Loaded, h/k, sport/premium, Z3 Short shifter, edead all over, NHT1259 Free air, bilsteins HDs, two tone cardinal red leather on doors. Sold

    My German bricks: 1988 300TE Estate E-Class, 1993 S Class 500SEL, in a class of it's own, The "Beast", and a 2002 BMW 540iA, My daily, lots of fun .
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  8. #8
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    vcg and o2 sensors

    What do info do I need to order the correct valve cover gasket? Is it a valve cover gasket or head cover gasket? In addition, I have another problem. When I accelerate I hear a rattling noise at 2000 to 2400 rpm under load. It does not happen in neutral. Someone told me to replace the O2 sensors. And there is one where the oil leaks so maybe that is the issue. Let me know your opinion.

    I have a 01/2003 325i m54.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCODE View Post
    check your passenger side wheel brake caliper... it might not be retracting...


    That's right, it says 'statment'
    -///Mike ///Michael ///Mikey

    pwn noobs /thread

  10. #10
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    I just did my VCG, and its an easy job, the gasket was 45.00 directly from bmw, and the grommets for the bolts were 1.50....best of luck

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtncarver View Post
    I just did my VCG, and its an easy job, the gasket was 45.00 directly from bmw, and the grommets for the bolts were 1.50....best of luck
    what are grommets? I'm new to the diy auto repair.
    Last edited by tylerste85; 05-18-2010 at 08:37 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  12. #12
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    Part #6 in the diagram below; there are 15 of them and they go on the VC to seal the bolts.



    You can probably get these from the dealer. I got mine from the dealer for like $20. They're about $1.50 apiece.
    Last edited by Phillips0417; 05-18-2010 at 11:08 AM.

  13. #13
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    Does this happen regardless of how many miles the car has?, I mean, I got 34K and have to replace it, previous one had 60K and had to replace it too! Damn rubbers.

  14. #14
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    is the #16 in the diagram the vcg that I need to get in addition to the 15 #6s?

  15. #15
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    Those are the spark plug valley seals, they should come with the VCG, however, the 15 grommets do not. There are two of the gaskets in increments of 3.

  16. #16
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    so to make sure i understand. what parts in the diagram do i need to order to replace the vcg to stop my oil leak. and how easy is it to replace?

    just fyi i did find oil leaking in the rear of the engine. Not enough to reach the ground but enough to burn. so as soon as phillip gets back to me or someone to tell me what exactly i need to order to fix it, i will order the parts.
    Last edited by tylerste85; 05-18-2010 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  17. #17
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    What's the build date on your car? Difference in part numbers.

  18. #18
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    it is 01/2003 325i M54

  19. #19
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    You will need 15 of these:

    http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/...ndividually%20

    And 1 VCG Set: From 9/02

    http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/...9%2C%20Each%20

    Pelican has fantastic customer service and really fast shipping, it never takes more than 3 days after placing the order to receive my order. Unless of course it's a special order item, which the grommets are, hence why I say go to a dealer for them because it's a common repair and are probably in stock. But if you've got some time, order from Pelican for price.
    Last edited by Phillips0417; 05-18-2010 at 12:37 PM.

  20. #20
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    nice. any special tools needed?
    Last edited by tylerste85; 05-18-2010 at 12:38 PM.

  21. #21
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    No special tools required.

  22. #22
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    hey i dont suppose you think i need any special parts for my double vanos?

  23. #23
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    There are a few special tools you will need for the Vanos.

    Look here for the full DIY and tool/part lists. Tremendous help.

    http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm

  24. #24
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    i have to remove the vanos to replace the gasket?

  25. #25
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    The VCG?

    Nope!

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