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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > How do I determine what kinda leak I have?



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      01-04-2013, 10:37 AM   #1
BMWUltimateDriv3r
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How do I determine what kinda leak I have?

It's in the front passenger side and I can't really tell what color because it leaks into the concrete floor.
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      01-04-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
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Are you holding washer fluid? Park over a broad cookie sheet or tin foil & try to collect the drips.

My headlight washer line busted & leaked where you are describing. g/l
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      01-04-2013, 11:23 AM   #3
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Touch it. Smell it. Feel the texture. Taste it. (just kidding on the last one)

Oil will be slippery and smell like oil. Coolant will be more water-y and also slippery but not as slippery as the oil. Washer fluid is closest to water out of the 3. Kinda hard to explain over the internet.
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      01-04-2013, 11:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarySL View Post
Are you holding washer fluid? Park over a broad cookie sheet or tin foil & try to collect the drips.

My headlight washer line busted & leaked where you are describing. g/l
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Originally Posted by Turb0Surge View Post
Touch it. Smell it. Feel the texture. Taste it. (just kidding on the last one)

Oil will be slippery and smell like oil. Coolant will be more water-y and also slippery but not as slippery as the oil. Washer fluid is closest to water out of the 3. Kinda hard to explain over the internet.
These are the best methods to tell which type of leak you have. Grab a bucket and let it drip. Once you have that figured out, you will have to find where it is coming from.
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      01-04-2013, 12:47 PM   #5
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Put a piece of white paper under it. You can tell the color then.
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      01-04-2013, 12:56 PM   #6
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Most likely valve cover gasket. I know ive had a very small leak for years. It doesnt even get to leak all the way down concrete. If it wasnt for the bottom plastic cover, my garage would be a a bit of a mess. I can see the oil over plastic cover from looking down the front passenger side. Dealer wanted to charge me 800 dlls to fix it. thanks but no thanks!!
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      01-04-2013, 01:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWUltimateDriv3r View Post
It's in the front passenger side and I can't really tell what color because it leaks into the concrete floor.
If it is an oil leak you would be able to smell it.
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      01-04-2013, 01:39 PM   #8
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I'm betting on a washer fluid leak, mine has a sleight drip and when the fluid is topped off, it leaks a little bit in the same location you described. BMW OE fluid is a light blue color, not at all slimy or oily, and no particular smell. It really doesn't bother me, but i'll have it looked at next time im at the dealership.
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      01-04-2013, 06:09 PM   #9
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Well this is weird.

It stopped leaking.

Which means it either stopped on its own (how does that happen) or it just ran out of whatever fluid was leaking, but my car doesn't warn me on the dashboard?
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      01-04-2013, 06:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWUltimateDriv3r View Post
Well this is weird.

It stopped leaking.

Which means it either stopped on its own (how does that happen) or it just ran out of whatever fluid was leaking, but my car doesn't warn me on the dashboard?
I'm starting to think it's AC water.
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      01-04-2013, 06:30 PM   #11
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I'm starting to think it's AC water.
+1 probably not a leak at all.
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      01-04-2013, 06:37 PM   #12
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You guys do understand hes in NY and the temps are 10-30s over there...AC leak? I mean I highly doubt he will put the AC on.

My bet is either a oil leak or washer fluid like many said. Best thing is to put some cooking trays underneath and find out. (you can get like 3 for 1.00) Its easy to tell coolant washer fluid and oil. Washer fluid will be blue or orange depending which one you used. Coolant will be green or blue depending which you used and it will be a very hint of blue not like washer fluid. Oil will be brownish and sludgy. People do taste it lol
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      01-04-2013, 06:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoRomeo View Post
Most likely valve cover gasket. I know ive had a very small leak for years. It doesnt even get to leak all the way down concrete. If it wasnt for the bottom plastic cover, my garage would be a a bit of a mess. I can see the oil over plastic cover from looking down the front passenger side. Dealer wanted to charge me 800 dlls to fix it. thanks but no thanks!!
+1, that's the only leak I've had knock on wood and it's common with our cars. You'll also notice smoke as it starts to leak more. Look at your headers..do you see burnt oil on them? If so, then it's definitely that.
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      01-04-2013, 07:11 PM   #14
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You guys do understand hes in NY and the temps are 10-30s over there...AC leak? I mean I highly doubt he will put the AC on.

My bet is either a oil leak or washer fluid like many said. Best thing is to put some cooking trays underneath and find out. (you can get like 3 for 1.00) Its easy to tell coolant washer fluid and oil. Washer fluid will be blue or orange depending which one you used. Coolant will be green or blue depending which you used and it will be a very hint of blue not like washer fluid. Oil will be brownish and sludgy. People do taste it lol
...I noticed that when you turn on the Defroster the A/C also turns on to Dehumidify the air. I usually turn the A/C off when it does.
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      01-04-2013, 07:21 PM   #15
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...I noticed that when you turn on the Defroster the A/C also turns on to Dehumidify the air. I usually turn the A/C off when it does.
My A/C doesn't turn on with the defroster.
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      02-01-2013, 01:22 PM   #16
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My A/C doesn't turn on with the defroster.
Mine A/C turns on when I hit the Auto button. As someone stated above I turn it off right away.
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