E46 Fanatics Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of September's Ride of the Month Challenge!
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a 2005 M3 a few months ago. It its quite the experience. What a motor! This I'm sure most of you already know, so I'll get to why I'm posting.

I started to experience an oil leak, that was progressive, and was soon accompanied by a burning oil smell in the cabin. I was keeping an eye on the oil levels, and planned on having it sorted out when I got my built WRX back. Well the leak didn't make it that long.

The oil leak was dripping down onto the splash guard and running out the back and out the front under the lip. I took the car out for a longer than normal drive a week ago, and as I merged into fast traffic, it was James Bond 007 smoke screen out the back. So much that the cars behind me couldn't see to merge into interstate traffic. It was a lot of smoke.

I make to a gas station a mile down the interstate, pull in and pop the hood. The entire front of the engine bay is soaked. There is a puddle the size of a kitchen table rolling out the front of the car.

The tow truck gets the car to BMW of Columbia SC (great service dept.) and they call me on a holiday and give me the run down. Apparently, the oil return line coming off the block just forward of the valve cover had snapped in half. I was sitting at full when I left the house, and they drained 3 qts out. Lost a lot of oil fast :thumbdwn: This is just a heads up to anyone experiencing an oil leak, to check that line and its mount bolt in the middle of the line for tightness and get a light and mirror in there to make sure you aren't going to have that line snap. It cost me just under $1000 in parts and labor to fix it, because an oil change is required, and it's 3 hours labor.

Search for 11-15-7-832-781 to see which line im referring to. Time between the failure of this line from the day it started leaking was about 1500 miles. I had also just done the oil change and dropped $100 in oil down the sonoco parking lot drain...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
That sucks. I haven't heard anyone with this kind of oil leak before.

Have you done any engine work before this happened that might have left this return pipe not fully on?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, the engine has never been touched for mods. It was owned by a 50 something year old german dude retired in Florida and the tech said the bolt in the center of the line was gone, and it was chaffing through. It was not leaking from the banjo bolt or the connection back to the oil pan, it was broken in half and dumping 200F oil on the belts, and the exhaust manifold. NOT a good thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
I think the burning oil smell would have been my queue to take it to a mechanic pronto! These cars are very sensitive. Ignoring issues usually leads to more costly repairs.

Glad you got it sorted.

- Danny
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sensitive is not a word I would use to describe a failure of the engineers to give a few millimeters clearance on a line that carries high pressure oil back to the sump. Sensitive is the SES, EML, DSC and Brake light I had on after BMW fixed it, due to a failed upper Throttle switch going out that had me driving 45 miles with 7 horsepower :sad:...But yes, crisis mitigated and I just wanted to put a post up, with some keywords on this failure.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top