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At about 210,000 miles last month it seems my motor turned into a shower head of oil. First I noticed oil leaking from the Oil Filter Housing. I changed that gasket, along with a new O-Ring for the Oil Filter Cap. Then I changed the Valve Cover Gasket which was getting bad. Things were good for a few days, then a large leak sprung from somewhere on the passenger side. It leaks enough that I don't drive it. The last time I drove anywhere I noticed when I parked that I was leaving a steady trail of oil, not just drips... a steady line. When I get under there I see oil everywhere, so I have no idea where to start. Can any of you give me ideas as to what can leak on the passenger side of the engine? It seems to only leak while running, and doesn't leak while off. Any help is appreciated.
 

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I bet you did not replace your valve cover gasket properly. The rear half moon is probably twisted, this is what I learned the hard way myself :(

Open your hood, put your hand along the rear half moons and you will feel what I am talking about.
 

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Is that easy to mess up? I put the Valve Cover Gasket on the Valve cover and everything seemed to line up and seat well. I'll check it when I get home from work. Thanks.
 

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So I found the general area where the oil is coming from. I checked the valve cover gasket and it's dry all around. I put the car on stands and started it up, and got underneath and waited. I thought it was the passenger side, but I must have been mistaken. The oil looks like it's coming from just beneath the alternator, and behind the belts. I looked at the oil filter housing gasket area and it doesn't appear to be coming from there. Is there anything else in that general area that could leak? I'm thinking oil pan maybe.
 

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I am having almost the exact same problem as you. I'm going to try to fix it up soon, I'll let you know what it ends up being.
 

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So I found the general area where the oil is coming from. I checked the valve cover gasket and it's dry all around. I put the car on stands and started it up, and got underneath and waited. I thought it was the passenger side, but I must have been mistaken. The oil looks like it's coming from just beneath the alternator, and behind the belts. I looked at the oil filter housing gasket area and it doesn't appear to be coming from there. Is there anything else in that general area that could leak? I'm thinking oil pan maybe.
Vanos oil line...from vanos solenoid down to ofh...did you replace the crush washers when you did ofh gasket? I don't think the CCV, which also leaks oil, would leave such a trail behind...but know the oil line could...I saw a toyota lose 1 qt in about 2 miles from its oil line gone bad (but covered in a recall!).

Oh, of course, you prolly know you're losing oil and not PS fluid, but check hoses under PS reservoir also...

Sorry, automatic? Don't know where the trans cooler lines run...but at your mileage, as I well know, everything will go eventually.

Only other things with oil behind, but doubt they'd leak like a seive...camshaft position sensor has an o-ring behind...one other.

Also, of course the oil level sensor on oil pan (suspect before pan itself)...

But first, honestly, since this came about after a couple of repairs, easiest to check is that bolts are all still there and tight (and hopefully right length bolts in right holes (but think you'd know about that too!).

HTH

Doug
 

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As you describe the location of the leak, it does sound like it could be power steering fluid. Have you check the fluid to see if it might be power steering fluid instead of engine oil?
 

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Sorry, It's been a while... I did track down my problem. The vanos was leaking a little, so I got that all fixed up. The real problem was the Oil Filter O-Ring. It was sticking out a tad on the back side where I could not see, not a good seal. I had an aftermarket filter/o-ring on there and it just didn't seat right. Went to BMW and got a new filter/o-ring and problem fixed. I feel lucky, it could have been something worse. Now I just have the 2-3 drip per night leak from my Oil Pan Gasket, but that will have to wait a few months.
 

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Sorry, It's been a while... I did track down my problem. The vanos was leaking a little, so I got that all fixed up. The real problem was the Oil Filter O-Ring. It was sticking out a tad on the back side where I could not see, not a good seal. I had an aftermarket filter/o-ring on there and it just didn't seat right. Went to BMW and got a new filter/o-ring and problem fixed. I feel lucky, it could have been something worse. Now I just have the 2-3 drip per night leak from my Oil Pan Gasket, but that will have to wait a few months.
Just FYI, leaks from above, as in oil filter housing gasket or CCV might make you think leak is from oil pan, but it may not be.

I thought my 2-3 drips/day were oil pan for quite a while actually and put it off, but after cleaning things up and doing ofh gasket and ccv...not a drip.

The oil will drip down, blow back and will get caught underneath oil pan in a way that might look like it's leaking...but it may not be. Would be hard to tell, I guess, coz even if you clean it up and oil returns, still might be blow back and 'drip down' from up above.

Seeing the leaks from either ofh or ccv are hard...even with a good flashlight, but if you remove some stuff, you might see better...prolly the air filter housing ...you might get a better look down there...there's quite a space there for oil to just sit in, until, I guess, it overflows onto the underskirt and out the hole...and the underskirt itself holds quite a bit of oil too...which then also will get blown off.

Anyway, not to worry you at all...since a tiny drip is easily correctable by just monitoring oil level closely at the same time (as in in the a.m.) and adding as needed. But keep an eye on it, coz the 2-3 drips you see might be more, and be more when driving...so monitor level to be safe...I'm sure you would anyway though.

Doug
 

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It turned out to be the O-ring on the oil filter housing for me, that was the big leak I'd been experiencing lately.

But I still have a small ower steering leak somewhere that I'm gonna hunt down shortly. The O-ring on my power steering reservoir cap is also leaking so I'm gonna start there with a new o-ring and go from there.

Thanks everybody for the great starting points. :thumbup:
 

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It turned out to be the O-ring on the oil filter housing for me, that was the big leak I'd been experiencing lately.

But I still have a small ower steering leak somewhere that I'm gonna hunt down shortly. The O-ring on my power steering reservoir cap is also leaking so I'm gonna start there with a new o-ring and go from there.

Thanks everybody for the great starting points. :thumbup:
Just fyi, and I'm sure you already know, but I know others don't. When you change oil, you might not see the o-ring in the groove on oil filter cap and mistakenly add a second o-ring...that then squishes up directly under flange of cap...not the way it's supposed to be. There's a groove about a 1/2" down from the flange, and if you clean it up, you'll see an 0-ring there...maybe...pull it off and replace. If you see any part of o-ring protruding from cap, that's what probably happened...and it's wrong.
 

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Sorry, It's been a while... I did track down my problem. The vanos was leaking a little, so I got that all fixed up. The real problem was the Oil Filter O-Ring. It was sticking out a tad on the back side where I could not see, not a good seal. I had an aftermarket filter/o-ring on there and it just didn't seat right. Went to BMW and got a new filter/o-ring and problem fixed. I feel lucky, it could have been something worse. Now I just have the 2-3 drip per night leak from my Oil Pan Gasket, but that will have to wait a few months.

Another reminder why I always go with OE/OEM parts. too many stories about aftermarket not working properly. As the old saying goes... "I'm too poor to buy cheap parts."

Glad you find the reason for the leak.
 

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Just fyi, and I'm sure you already know, but I know others don't. When you change oil, you might not see the o-ring in the groove on oil filter cap and mistakenly add a second o-ring...that then squishes up directly under flange of cap...not the way it's supposed to be. There's a groove about a 1/2" down from the flange, and if you clean it up, you'll see an 0-ring there...maybe...pull it off and replace. If you see any part of o-ring protruding from cap, that's what probably happened...and it's wrong.
The funny part is, the last filter I bought came with the o ring, and I couldn't figure out where it went, and its been hanging around my garage for about a month, when i did the last oil change.

Cleaned the garage about a week ago and threw it out.

You'd think I'm a novice, but I've been building cars and maintaining my cars for 30 freakin years. This is my first Bimmer.

All the other filters I've bought for this car never came with the O-ring. I didn't even know the housing took an o-ring because mine was all flattenned out in there.

After reading this I decided to take a real good look at the engine running with the hood open. I could see the leak clear as day coming from the oil filter housing.

Went down to Napa to get an O ring, and would you believe it, the only way to get the o-ring is with the new filter. Bought the filter, replaced the o-ring, degreased the motor. Hey the last o-ring ;lasted 30,000 miles since i've had the car, this one should get me thru at least the end of the next oil change....I gotta use that last filter I bought for the o-ring. $12...these filters aint cheap.

:blah:
 
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