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2005 BMW 330i ZHP Auto
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Discussion Starter #1
Just changed the valve cover gasket and 15 grommets on my e46. Previously, it smoked some and smelled like burning oil at idle. I put everything back together and took it around the neighborhood. Well it smelled like burning oil and about 5 minutes in, the yellow oil light came on. I immediately shut down the car and a good bit of smoke was coming off the exhaust side of the engine. I waited a few minutes and drove it back to my garage. Did I install it wrong? How should I check? Thanks!
 

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You replaced your vcg with gromets. The smell is normal as any oil on the exhaust will burn off. What's not normal, is your oil light turning on as you drove your car. Was the oil low when you changed your valve cover gasket. Changing the Vcg shouldn't cause any oil loss as the car is not running When it is done, so any loss would be extremely negligible. With that being said, it is very possible that when you did your new VCG with grommets that the gasket that you replaced with got twisted when you put the valve cover on and therefore is not sealing. Was the car blowing smoke from the exhaust. my first thought is, when you did your Vcg and placed your valve cover back on the engine, that the gasket got twisted and/or fell out of place and therefore you are now leaking oil. How lhard did you drive the car before the oil light turned on.
 

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Another words I would check to make sure that the gasket is seated correctly. Also did you torque your bolts correctly. If memory serves me correct, each bolt for the valve cover should be torqued to 7.4 foot pounds. Also when you reinstalled your valve cover I am assuming that you did not just tighten one bolt at a time and you worked in the star pattern. Also I've heard of VCG being cracked, did you check yours to make sure there are no cracks in it prior to reinstalling. And any rate you will probably need to go back and re-install the valve cover making sure that it is correctly installed.
 

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2005 BMW 330i ZHP Auto
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Discussion Starter #4
I drove for about 5 minutes before the light came on. When I started it again, the light was not on and it did not turn on before I parked in my garage. There was no smoke from the exhaust, only from off the engine. I torqued everything down right, so I'll take the valve cover off and check for twists. If the gasket is bent, do you think it will be ok to re-install it or will I have to get a new one? Thanks for the quick reply!
 

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You should be ok if the gasket wasn't pinched too badly. Make sure it's seated correctly in the back, which is the biggest PITA.


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As bmwdude stated, because the gasket is new as long as you did not pinch it too badly to gasket is brand-new and should be OK to reinstall. My second question is what kind of gasket did you buy. I guess I should've asked that first. And yes the back is a pita. Has the smell gone away. And if not, do you happen to have a mechanics mirror and a flashlight to see the back of the engine to make sure that's where the Leak is indeed happening, Or you could just take your hand and place it back there and see if you can feel any oil. There may be a bit of oil back there just from changing the valve cover which would be normal. When it comes to gaskets and grommets, Believe it or not, they're not all equal.
 

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The burning oil smell can stick around for a while after the change, even if it's not leaking anymore, as oil has usually leaked onto the headers (and everything else around there), and it can take a while to all burn off. You have to monitor your consumption to know whether or not you've fixed the leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys! I took off the new gasket and there were still a few small parts of the old one stuck on. I removed those and tightened everything down, but I broke one of the studs. Waiting for a new one to come in before I drive it again. Thanks for all the help!
 
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