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      11-08-2012, 09:13 AM   #1
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Question Brief burnt oil smell this morning.

Seems my issues will never end This morning I was parked at a slight incline. I turned the engine off and ran inside for less than a minute. I came back out and started the car and got a waft of burnt oil smell from the vents. It dissipated in less than a block and never came back after that.

Now if you have been following my other threads I recently had the water pump replaced after it failed on the way into work. Could my little incident be related? Could it just be the valve cover gasket at 80k? All input is appreciated.
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      11-08-2012, 09:27 AM   #2
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If your valve cover gasket is not leaking, next thing to check is the filter housing gasket - coincidentally right above the water pump...
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      11-08-2012, 09:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Three_thirty_I View Post
If your valve cover gasket is not leaking, next thing to check is the filter housing gasket - coincidentally right above the water pump...
Well I can tell you its not the oil filter housing gasket. I replaced that last year:-) As for the valve cover gasket, I do see some weeping on the passenger side of the engine by what looks to be some kind of electrical plug/cable (valvetronic motor harness maybe). I am going to have to remove the upper engine bay cover to see further back. After I got home and parked the car, I turned the engine off and popped the hood. I did not smell any burning oil. It would seem that being on the incline caused the issue?
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      11-08-2012, 09:44 AM   #4
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i had this same [similar] after i changed my water pump! Make ABSOLUTELY sure the radiator drain plug is fastened tightly! These were warning signs that my plug was inching its way out and leading up to the whole thing falling out and my coolant dumping out into the middle of the road; leaving me stranded and looking like an asshole.

Also, if you spilled coolant onto your engine at all, it could be the liquid burning when it touches the engine block.
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      11-08-2012, 09:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N0OS3 View Post
i had this same [similar] after i changed my water pump! Make ABSOLUTELY sure the radiator drain plug is fastened tightly! These were warning signs that my plug was inching its way out and leading up to the whole thing falling out and my coolant dumping out into the middle of the road; leaving me stranded and looking like an asshole.

Also, if you spilled coolant onto your engine at all, it could be the liquid burning when it touches the engine block.
Thanks NO0S3, but it wasn't burning coolant, but a burning motor oil smell.
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      11-08-2012, 09:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snyperx View Post
Well I can tell you its not the oil filter housing gasket. I replaced that last year:-) As for the valve cover gasket, I do see some weeping on the passenger side of the engine by what looks to be some kind of electrical plug/cable (valvetronic motor harness maybe). I am going to have to remove the upper engine bay cover to see further back. After I got home and parked the car, I turned the engine off and popped the hood. I did not smell any burning oil. It would seem that being on the incline caused the issue?
Maybe with the engine cover off, check the spark plug holes - gaskets there tend to leak too sometimes. My Wife's E46 320i is suffering from a burnt oil smell and I have got all the bits and pieces together to do the valve cover gasket, but on closer inspection I found absolutely no traces of any oil leaking all around the valve cover gasket and for that matter the gaskets in the holes for the spark plugs. Then some more fishing about and after removing the air filter box I spotted the traces of leaking oil from the filter housing.

What about the PCV?
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      11-08-2012, 09:55 AM   #7
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Well I also changed my spark plugs here a month or two ago and the old ones looked almost new with the plug holes looking spotless. I have not checked my PCV.

Should I be looking at #1?

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      11-08-2012, 10:01 AM   #8
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Well I also changed my spark plugs here a month or two ago and the old ones looked almost new with the plug holes looking spotless. I have not checked my PCV.
And no obvious signs of oil dripping on the garage floor etc? Also, out of interest, what is your car's oil consumption like, now and say before this burnt oil smell?
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      11-08-2012, 10:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Three_thirty_I View Post
And no obvious signs of oil dripping on the garage floor etc? Also, out of interest, what is your car's oil consumption like, now and say before this burnt oil smell?
No oil dripping from what I can tell, but I have not had the spash shields off yet. This just happened this morning. I have never had to add oil between the 5-8k interval I go by. Please keep in mind that the car had 64k on it when I bought it a little over a year ago and now has 80k.
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      11-08-2012, 10:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snyperx View Post
No oil dripping from what I can tell, but I have not had the spash shields off yet. This just happened this morning. I have never had to add oil between the 5-8k interval I go by. Please keep in mind that the car had 64k on it when I bought it a little over a year ago and now has 80k.
Miles (not Kilometres)? Still decently low mileage. Wonder then where it could be coming from...
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      11-08-2012, 10:38 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Three_thirty_I View Post
Miles (not Kilometres)? Still decently low mileage. Wonder then where it could be coming from...
Yes, 80k miles.
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      11-08-2012, 10:51 AM   #12
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I had a similar experience recently after changing the oil. It turns out that I spilled some oil and it ran under the engine cover. This allowed the oil to pool in some areas on the top of the engine block. I took a sharp turn the next day and suddenly had smoke pouring out of my hood. I nervously pulled in to a parking lot and tried to figure out what was going on.

Turns out, when I took that turn, some of the pooled oil spilled out of the various crevices it was in and was being burned off as it dripped onto the headers. Pop your engine cover off and see if there's any oil sitting under there.
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      11-08-2012, 01:27 PM   #13
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Worth checking this out! Often the simplest of things can cause an issue like this!
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      11-09-2012, 12:05 PM   #14
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I cleaned out all the oil in the little crevaces around the spark plug housings... seems i had a lot of spilled oil down there and i didn't know it... i ended up using a clear brake-bleeding tube (or a clear straw works just as well) and stuffed a bit of a paper towel in the end of it (about 1/2") in order to "suck" it out... made things a lot easier and quicker instead of trying to cram a rag or whatever down there.

I still get the burnt smell in the morning, but i think eventually it will go away after the last of the oil residue gets burnt away. I cleaned all around the head gasket and no leaks (after running the car around town for 30 minutes) so that's a good sign. I ordered a new cabin filter too as mine is all blacked from when my car overheated and sprayed coolant everywhere.
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      11-09-2012, 03:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N0OS3 View Post
I cleaned out all the oil in the little crevaces around the spark plug housings... seems i had a lot of spilled oil down there and i didn't know it... i ended up using a clear brake-bleeding tube (or a clear straw works just as well) and stuffed a bit of a paper towel in the end of it (about 1/2") in order to "suck" it out... made things a lot easier and quicker instead of trying to cram a rag or whatever down there.

I still get the burnt smell in the morning, but i think eventually it will go away after the last of the oil residue gets burnt away. I cleaned all around the head gasket and no leaks (after running the car around town for 30 minutes) so that's a good sign. I ordered a new cabin filter too as mine is all blacked from when my car overheated and sprayed coolant everywhere.
Okay, that's a good sign! The smell will eventually clear! Maybe just leave the bonnet open when parked in your garage at night for the next few days...
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      11-15-2012, 01:16 PM   #16
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So has anyone done this themselves? I keep reading that the VCG on the N52 can be difficult to change. I really need to be able to do this myself since I do not have the funds for another shop repair (just spend $1200 on the water pump and stat last month).
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      11-15-2012, 01:27 PM   #17
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Thats the only thing I dont miss about my old e90 was it seemed like it was always leaking something lol its amazing how one drop of oil can travel so far
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      12-03-2012, 01:18 PM   #18
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So I still haven't had a chance to get under the hood and have a good look around. I have gotten the burnt oil smell a couple more times since, but have been less faint then the first time it happened.
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      12-03-2012, 01:34 PM   #19
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Damn man you must be busy as shit for it to almost be a month and have no time to even open the hood lol
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      12-03-2012, 01:38 PM   #20
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Damn man you must be busy as shit for it to almost be a month and have no time to even open the hood lol
I did open the hood...LOL. The only thing I saw was oil that had weeped around a electrical connector on the passenger side below the valve cover.
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      12-03-2012, 01:53 PM   #21
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Wash your engine and start from there....
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      12-03-2012, 01:54 PM   #22
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Wash your engine and start from there....
Every time I hear wash the engine I shutter. LOL. Last time I washed a car engine it didn't turn out to well. Haven't tried it since.
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