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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm new to the forum and had a question about an oil leak I'm dealing with. For context I drive a 2001 325i (first car) and about 3 days ago I found out I had an oil leak, I put some carboard underneath and there isn't a noticeable drip. I had a friend lift the car up for me and we could see that the leak is coming from the oil pan and general area (I forgot what else it was). They believe it's the rear main seal and oil pan gasket that have failed but I have also been told that it could be my PCV valve that's clogged causing the leak. I am new to the BMW community and am not sure how to diagnose it, if someone could give any advice as to what it could be I would be grateful.

Some more info that might help is I just drove it cross country from Ontario to BC and the car has 235,000km on it.

Cheers!
 

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2005 330xi Auto, 2006 330ci Vert Auto
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Where do you see the oil under the car? Towards front of engine, back of engine, left side, right side? (left and right is from the perspective of the driver).

If you were to look from the top, under the hood, do you see oil stain/drip? If so, which area?

Do you have pictures from the top and also under the car? How much oil are you losing? How often do you have to top off?

For E46, common oil leaks are: Valve cover gasket (oil on right side of engine from top dripping down), oil filter housing gasket (oil around the middle of the engine from top dripping down), oil pan gasket (all over the bottom of the engine) and CCV (oil all over the CCV hoses and parts, with an accompanying vacuum leak).

While it's possible to have oil leak from rear main seal, you would not see oil towards the front of the engine.

It's difficult to diagnose over the internet without more info and pictures. Since you're new to the forum, you may want to consult the sticky topics at the top of the forum 1st page.

Lastly, are you planning on DIY the fixes or taking your car to a mechanic?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
it's at the rear of the engine just in front of the oil pan.
I see no oil in the engine bay or around the engine specifically.
Yeah, I know it isn't easy to diagnose if I can get photos, I will.
I was thinking of doing it on my own to save on money since I'm just about to start uni in a few weeks but I also don't really have a place to work on the car, so I'm unsure until I know the issue. But I'll take a look on the first page like you said.
Thanks!
 

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2005 330xi Auto, 2006 330ci Vert Auto
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it's at the rear of the engine just in front of the oil pan.
Can you clarify this? The oil pan is right under the engine. So when you say "rear of the engine just in front of the oil pan" doesn't really make sense :)

I think a picture is worth 1000 words. If you can get pictures, please post and someone here surely can help you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can't lift my car at the moment but I found a photo of the oil pan area and circled the area of the leak. I hope this helps I can try to snap a photo when the car is on jacks but I don't know when that will be. Sorry if this is a bit of a hassle.
 

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2005 330xi Auto, 2006 330ci Vert Auto
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I can't lift my car at the moment but I found a photo of the oil pan area and circled the area of the leak. I hope this helps I can try to snap a photo when the car is on jacks but I don't know when that will be. Sorry if this is a bit of a hassle.
That area could be oil pan gasket or rear main seal. When you get a chance to take pictures of your leaks, try to get pictures all around because oil can move around blown by wind when you're driving. Come on back then and someone on the forum will be able to help you.
 

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When looking for leaks, search from the top of the engine down. Check around the valve cover first, usually itll collect on the exhaust manifold heatshield. Then check the oil filter housing gasket. Bit harder to spot but you’ll see oil on this waffle texture metal on the side of the block. Then check the lower ccv hose. It’ll be a mess if its split and leaking
 
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